VIOLENT crime in Sussex has doubled in the past four years.
Figures released by national think tank UK Crimestats have revealed the huge jump since 2013.
In January that year, there were 1,382 violent crimes reported to police. Fast forward to November 2017 and that figure rocketed to 3,039.
Experts say this is down to a number of factors including police cutting staff and more crimes being recorded. Some even believe it’s because society is becoming more angry.
UK Crimestats gathers data from police forces around the country.
Violent crimes range from common assaults through to murders.
Here in Brighton, Matt Webbs, chairman of the Police Federation, says police cutbacks are a major contributing factor to the increase.
“About four years ago we told the then Home Secretary Theresa May that the cuts would result in more crime and she told us to stop scaremongering and crying wolf and that everything was good.
“With fewer officers, it means they are unable to do the preventive work, unable to do the stop search, unable to respond to original calls and that means criminals can get away with it.
“Significant cuts to budgets have been seen across the public sector including the police service.
“Sussex Police has seen more than 20 per cent cut from its central government funding stream meaning we have already reduced expenditure by £76 million and still have further cuts to make.”
He added the rise in violent crime is a particularly sensitive issue because it has a significant impact on the victim and tends to increase fear of crime in society as a whole.
One victim is South Korean student Yehsung Kim.
The 20-year-old suffered broken teeth when a man smashed a bottle in his face in October,
He says he is not surprised by what the figures revealed.
“I am always nervous when I am outside. I don’t feel safe at all on the streets,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Jason Taylor, of Sussex Polic,e said the force is aware of the increase.
He said: “More crime is being reported to police and in an inspection last year we were rated better at recording crime and recording crime more accurately than other forces.
“We are actively encouraging those who have suffered domestic abuse to come forward and believe that there is an increased confidence to report.”
Andy Stenning, a retired policeman and secretary of Unison’s Sussex police and justice branch, blamed the rise of violent crimes on an angrier society.
“If you look at society in general I think there is a trend of it becoming more feral.
“This country is becoming angrier and angrier at the drop of a hat and violence stems from that.”
Source: The Argus