Police and crime commissioner Sir Graham Bright explains increases in Cambs violent crime and sexual offences

Sir Graham Bright.

Sir Graham Bright. - Credit: Archant

Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright took to the airwaves on Friday to explain why Cambridgeshire has experienced large increases in violent crime and sexual offences.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics for the year ending last September said Cambs experienced a 38 per cent rise in violent crime (compared to the 16 per cent national average), 44 per cent rise in violent crime and 33 per cent rise in violent crime resulting in injury.

In an interview with Dotty McLeod on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Sir Graham said the figures were “confusing” and he was “not happy” with what he was seeing.

Sir Graham said: “We need to try to understand the figures. They are confusing, so you’ve got to dig underneath. I’m asking police to give a full report which will go to the board and they will be held to account.

“With some of the figures we were expecting an increase as we’ve been encouraging people to report crime.

“We need more time to look into the figures because we are not happy with what we are seeing on there.

“For violence against the person it’s because we are recording crimes more accurately, but it takes time to dig deep to understand the figures because I never have and never will give knee-jerk answers without substance.”

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Sir Graham attributed a 55 per cent rise in sexual offences to victims being more willing to come forward and talk to police.

He said: “We have set up a victims hub where people feel much more able to talk. Cambs has the highest confidence rating in the country and we are looking to build on that to encourage people to report crime and not just shrug their shoulders. This message is getting through. More people are engaging with us.

“Against the rest of the country, we are below rest of country all way through. Violence against the person is below the national average, sexual offences are the national average and violence against the person is quite a bit below the national average.”

An increase in the reporting of sexual offences has not led to an increase in prosecutions, Sir Graham admitted.

He said: “Sexual offence prosecutions are down to judiciary as well. We’ve not seen a rise in prosecutions, but it’s up to the judiciary take those things forward.

“Huge efforts have been made in Peterborough with a lot of success in terms of prosecutions.

“Jimmy Saville and other cases have seen a rise in historical allegations, which is something we are going to have to follow through on.”