Violent crime up 8.5%, Domestic violence up 14% and Hate crime up 15%
- Borough falls behind rest of London on virtually all crime measures
New crime figures from the Metropolitan police have shown a sharp rise in the most serious crimes in Tower Hamlets. The figures show violent crime is up 8.5% with domestic and hate crime up 14% and 15% respectively since last year.
On virtually all crime measures Tower Hamlets has performed worse than the London averages. Overall, crime figures show a drop of 7% though this is lagging well behind the average London-wide crime reductions of 9.4%.
Particularly worrying was the revelation that gun crime in the borough is up almost 8% on last year despite the number of incidents across London as a whole dropping by almost 17%.
Whilst the figures show some success combatting the number of robberies in the borough, the fall of 13% does not match the London-wide average reduction of almost 19%.
Labour singled out the cuts to local Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) for reducing the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing. The popular SNTs were introduced by Labour to give each local area a dedicated neighbourhood policing team yet under plans put through by London Mayor Boris Johnson these teams have been cut down from 6 officers to only one police officer and one PCSO.
The opposition councillors have also called upon the current Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, to take his share of the responsibility after last year he dismissed their concerns about rising crime. Rahman was heavily criticised last year when it was shown that crime had increased 1.4% since he came to power. Despite the increases in crime councillors have seen no evidence that Rahman has a grip on the police response and accuse him of only being interested in photo-ops and publicity opportunities.
Labour’s Spokesperson for Community Safety, Cllr John Pierce, said:
“Whilst it’s encouraging that robberies and burglaries are coming down, on virtually every measure we are lagging behind the rest of London.
“Most worrying of all is that the crimes that people are most worried about, things like violent crime and gun crime, are increasing in our borough at a rate far outstripping the rest of the capital.
“Lutfur Rahman likes to take a lot of credit for the achievements of the police. I hope he will be man enough to take his share of the responsibility as well. For months he has been dismissing our concerns yet it is now clear that on Rahman’s watch violent crime has dramatically increased.”
Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“The fact that Tower Hamlets is performing less well than its neighbours is an obvious cause of concern. The mayor has a vital role in coordinating partnerships to deal with crime and the fear of crime and we have to ask whether he has been putting his time into the job.”