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'Alarming' rise in race crime in East Lancashire
1:55pm Wednesday 11th April 2012 in Blackburn
THE number of reported crimes in Lancashire has fallen – but figures show an ‘alarming’ rise in racially-aggravated crime in East Lancs.
Overall, crime has reduced by 3.1 per cent in the county, which equates to 3,160 fewer victims of crime last year.
But figures show racially-aggravated crime in Eastern division, which covers Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, and Ribble Valley, went up by 21.9 per cent.
There were 157 incidents reported last year, compared to 120 in 2010-11.
Salim Mulla, chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “It is alarming to hear a rise of that magnitude. I don’t know what the root cause is, but the community is working hard in terms of integrating and having seminars, interfaith work and functions.
“All we can do is keep working hard to get the key message out through our mosques and keep praying. As long as we keep working with police, local councils, voluntary, and statutory bodies, I’m sure these statistics will improve.”
There was a 20.9 per cent rise in the number of robberies in Eastern division, with 139 incidents compared to 115.
In Pennine division, vehicle crime was slashed by 9.6per cent, from 1,777 to 1,607 reports.
Vehicle crime in Eastern was down 7.5 per cent from 1,838 to 1,700 reports. Sex offences rose from 277 to 291 incidents in Eastern, and fell from 271 to 258 in Pennine.
Crime detection rates in Eastern dropped from 36.5 per cent in 2010-11 to 34.7 per cent in 2011-12.
In Pennine, 38.2 per cent of crimes were detected last year, compared to 37.2 the previous year. The detection rate for Lancashire was 36.7 per cent last year.
Reports of burglary have fallen by 1.1 per cent, violent crime was down 0.3 per cent and criminal damage dropped by 2.6 per cent in Eastern. There was a 4.5 per cent rise in hate crime. All crime dropped by 1.3 per cent in Eastern, from 18,846 incidents to 18,605.
In Pennine, all crime dropped 2.6per cent, from 18,127 to 17,664 reports. Burglaries were down 5.4 per cent, serious acquisitive crime dropped 8.1 per cent, and robberies fell by 10per cent.
However, violent crime increased by 4.7 per cent, racially-aggravated crime by 4 per cent, and hate crime by 3.1 per cent.
Rachel Baines, chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation, said: “Considering the amount of officers and staff we have lost, the figures are very good.”
Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “The constabulary has had to make a number of cuts over the past year, and we anticipate more in the future, so we have a challenge ahead of us. Despite this, keeping levels of crime low in Lancashire, and hence keeping people safe from harm, will remain our focus.”