Plymouth's crime and domestic abuse hotspots revealed in new figures
STONEHOUSE and the city centre are the domestic abuse hotspots of Plymouth, new figures show.
And the two areas also have the highest rates of anti-social behaviour.
The statistics emerged last week as the new Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner laid out his first Policing Plan for the peninsula.
Tony Hogg told the Police and Crime Panel that the figures could hide a bigger problem. He said some crimes of domestic, family and sexual abuse and hate crime, by their very nature, go unreported.
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"I want to encourage victims to come forward so that the police can take action," Mr Hogg said.
But Mr Hogg said later: "In my view Plymouth has one of the best anti-social behaviour teams of anywhere, and its draft policy on alcohol is really forward-thinking."
Police were called to an average of about 500 domestic abuse incidents a year in Stonehouse, according to figures from the Plymouth Community Safety Partnership (see table).
Police say 29.5per cent of all violent crime with injury consists of incidents of domestic abuse.
Meanwhile, in the city centre, there were 2,049 anti-social behaviour incidents in the 2010/11 year, according to the figures.
By contrast, Crownhill recorded just 127 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the 12 months to March last year, official figures show.
The amount of anti-social behaviour in the city fell by 13.8per cent from 2010-11 to 2011-12.
Available figures are difficult to compare because they cover different periods.
According to the Economic Policy Centre there were 26,943 incidents of all types reported in Plymouth in the 12 months to the end of last November. The single biggest category – with 10,000 incidents – was anti-social behaviour, followed by crimes of violence on 4,257.
Meanwhile, a report of the Community Safety Partnerships across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly says that the highest reported rates for domestic abuse last year were in Plymouth and Torbay. Torbay was slightly worse than Plymouth, with 23.7 incidents for every 1,000 of the population, compared with 22.4.
Alcohol is often linked to domestic abuse, and although women and children are most vulnerable, men are also victims but less likely to seek help.
A city council spokeswoman said: "The council is committed to maintaining significant investments in initiatives that aim to reduce domestic violence and support victims.
"We work proactively with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour and have seen significant year on year reductions in recorded anti-social behaviour in the city and also have a team focusing on supporting the victims and vulnerable people."
Violent crime rose by 11 per cent across the peninsula in the past year, set against a national reduction of seven per cent. The rate remained stable in Plymouth, although crime related to alcohol was significantly higher than the average for England.
Street drinking and vagrancy levels are increasing in central parts of Plymouth, Truro and Torquay.
Plymouth is significantly worse than the regional average for violent crime, with 23.8 incidents for every 1,000 people, compared with Torbay's 20.2 and 12.3 for all of Devon.
Violent crime peaks in the summer, with Cornwall seeing the strongest summer bias and Plymouth the least.
A second peak in October and November coincides with the university freshers' weeks, Halloween and Bonfire Night.
Victims of violence and offenders are most likely to be males aged 18 to 24.
Plymouth city centre, Stonehouse, Morice Town, Mutley and the East End were hotspots for all types of crime.
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