Analysing the police’s crime statistics for November 2019, the most recently available, there has been a 175% increase in reported crime in Rye when compared against November 2018. In addition, October and September also saw substantial increases in reported crime on previous years at 52% and 30% respectively (see graph above).
Over the past 12 months anti-social behaviour, which includes “personal, environmental and nuisance behaviour”, is the highest reported crime in Rye and has increased three fold since November 2018. Anti-social behaviour makes up just under a third of all reported crime for November 2019.
Crime relating to drugs, which includes “possession, supply and production”, has seen a noticeable spike in the most recently published statistics. Over 10% of all crimes reported in November 2019 were drugs related. By comparison, there had been no drug related crime reported in the previous five months leading up to November 2019.
Like drug offences, crime relating to violence and sexual offences also made up over 10% of reported crime in November 2019. Crime within that category includes “offences against the person such as common assaults, grievous bodily harm (GBH) and sexual offences” but unlike drug crime, violent and sexual offences have been reported in every month in 2019, though the number reported fluctuates month-on-month. For the 12 months from December 2018 this category of crime is second only to anti-social behaviour.
The increase in reported crime is likely to open up a debate on policing levels in Rye. A recent article in Rye News by Kevin Moore, former detective chief superintendent at Sussex Police laid bare the government’s claims that it has increased police numbers. In fact, Kevin Moore claims that “the police service nationally has lost a fifth of its police officers since 2010.”
Mr Moore explained that “last year, Sussex Police, as a result of the increased funding provided through a council tax increase, recruited 267 officers. On the face of it, very good news. However, during that year, 133 officers left as a result of retirement while a further 83 resigned. That therefore left an overall net gain of just 51. Based on these figures . . . it would take Sussex Police 14 years just to get back to the numbers of 2010.”
It remains to be seen if the increase in reported crime in Rye is a long term trend or an end of year blip but one thing is clear, the debate around a police presence on the streets of Rye will continue.
Image Credits: Rye News based on police data .