Violence involved in third of all crime on Sunderland’s streets

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NINE crimes are committed on Wearside’s streets every day.

Three of those involve violence, new figures have revealed.

Statistics released to the Echo show there were 3,372 crimes committed on the streets last year, including burglary, public disorder, criminal damage, fraud and forgery.

Officers made 979 arrests for crimes of violence against a person, including instances of harassment.

In some cases, more than one person was arrested, including in episodes of domestic violence and drunken brawls.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander, said there were almost 300 fewer victims of violent crime last year than in 2011, when there were 1,272 arrests.

“Often violence can be fuelled by alcohol and we work closely with our partners within the Safer Sunderland Partnership to tackle drink-related disorder,” she said.

“In addition, tackling domestic abuse is a priority and the force is currently running its Walking on Eggshells campaign, highlighting the help available and encouraging victims to come forward to police and other agencies which can help.

“One violent crime is one too many and we continue to strive to reduce this figure even further.”

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said one of the main causes of violence committed on the streets is young men being caught up in disturbances.

Last year 1,320 street crimes were committed by men, and in 2011 1,676.

“I think clearly the main people who suffer from this are two categories,” he said.

“Young males are easily caught up in violent outbreaks and that is where a lot of these figures come from.”

He added: “There is also the issue of domestic violence, and it is great to see that we have had great success in both of these areas.

“The new Police Crime Commissioner is making one of the main aims of her strategy to reduce those figures.

“On the whole, the figures are not great, but it is good to see the figures for violent crimes are reducing.”

Numbers are continuing to fall in all areas of street crime across the city.

There were 663 fewer offences committed in 2012 than the previous year when there were 4,035.

Councillor Harry Trueman, chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, which tackles crime, disorder, fear of crime and substance misuse, said: “We monitor crime statistics closely and continue to work with our community safety partners to reduce criminal behaviour in our city still further wherever possible.

“This partnership approach is having an impact on reducing crime rates. But we can only maintain this momentum with the help of residents, so we would encourage people to continue reporting incidents to the police and any information they think could help resolve these.”

He added: “We remain committed to working with partners to ensure the personal safety and welfare of everyone in this city.

“While any crime is one crime too many, Sunderland has seen a significant reduction in violent crime in this year.”

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull