Crime

Crime and the fear of crime are key factors that affect people’s quality of life and sense of well-being.

There is a direct link to health through such things as violent injury, rape and other offences against the person, and less directly via the psychological trauma of experiencing crimes such as burglary or vandalism.

Fear of crime affects the health of the wider community via, for example, restrictions on unsupervised outdoor play for children and social isolation of older people.

It has been acknowledged that the actual rick of becoming a victim of crime is much lower than the perceived fear of crime and victimisation. Fear of crime can have a devastating effect on quality of life and more focus is being placed upon providing reassurance to residents and ensuring that they know how best to protect themselves from becoming a victim without raising fear unnecessarily.

Crime reduces the effectiveness of healthcare systems through violence against NHS staff, damage to property, and costs of replacement, repairs and security. Alcohol and illegal drug dependency increase crime, and have an impact on health care services. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43763

This topic is associated with:

Offenders

Alcohol misuse

Illicit drug use

Domestic violence victims

Sexual violence victims

Last updated: 2012-09-07 06:33:33
[+] Expand all

1. What are the key issues?

Victim

  • Repeat victimisation has increased each year from 2008;
  • There is no baseline agreed for measuring both victimisation and repeat victimisation;
  • The highest levels of repeat victimisation for criminal damage and assault are recorded in the town centre wards;
  • There is no process for identifying individuals with multiple needs who appear in different data sets;
  • Data collection processes for repeat victimisation are not co-ordinated between the local authority and police systems;
  • There are groups of people who have both been victims and perpetrators of crime;
  • Victims of particular crimes are more vulnerable than others, but interventions are not focused on specific crime groups.

Offender

  • There isn’t any locally agreed measure for reducing re-offending that will meet the needs of Payment by Results (PBR) and local performance management;
  • Alcohol arrest data indicates that 44% of offences are linked to alcohol. Other data sources in turn indicate that harms caused by excessive drinking are increasing;
  • There is still a significant proportion of individuals involved in acquisitive crime that sit outside of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme and are dealt with through the mainstream services including the Youth Offending Service (YOS);
  • The arrest referral service currently still works with all offenders arrested for acquisitive crimes. This may not be appropriate use of time and resource;
  • Employment and housing are major factors in slowing down the desistance process with offenders;
  • Other theft is on an increasing trend and has low detection rates. It also has links to both the day and night time economies;
  • Peer support for offenders has been identified as a priority need by service providers and service users but there is currently no capacity to provide this.

 Families

  • It is not known how many troubled families reside in Middlesbrough;
  • There is no agreed definition that outlines what constitutes a troubled family in Middlesbrough and how they can be identified;
  • There are no agreed multi-agency processes in place to address and support troubled families;
  • There is no agreed model to measure the success of work that is to be carried out with troubled families.

 Location

  • There are specific locations that account for a high proportion of crime in Middlesbrough;
  • Criminal damage contributes heavily towards overall crime figures but does not have oversight and focus as per those for ‘other theft’;
  • ASB-related information systems in the local authority and the police do not enable systematic analysis;
  • There are high levels of alcohol-related violence in the town centre at weekends;
  • There is no clear pathway for accountability for locality related issues;
  • Consultation and engagement processes with residents are not robust;
  • Substance misuse and reducing re-offending related services are not organised around working in specific localities. This leads to service/staff not being aware of local issues or linked into local action plans.
Last updated: 07/09/12

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

2012/01

Victims

  • Reducing repeat victimisation should remain a strategic priority;
  • Set baselines to reduce the prevalence and extent of victimisation and repeat victimisation within Middlesbrough;
  • Target repeat victimisation within the town centre;
  • Improve processes for dealing with complex cases;
  • Review current information systems to ensure effective monitoring of repeat victimisation;
  • Analyse common victim/perpetrator groups to see how and where they can come into contact with services, and determine the level of need;
  • Target specific groups of victims based on crime type. 

2012/02

Offenders

  • Agree on robust local means to measure offending and re-offending;
  • Enhance measures to reduce alcohol-related crime;
  • The Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme should continue, but caseload mix should be reviewed against those committing most crimes;
  • Testing on arrest should continue but may need to be revised to encompass a wider range of drugs and become more targeted;
  • Address the needs of offenders in local employment and housing strategies’;
  • Develop a means to harden the targets of ‘other theft’ as it is increasing, has low detection rates and has links to both the day and night time economies;
  • Provide peer support for offenders.

2012/03

Families

  • Agree on a definition that clearly outlines what constitutes a troubled family;
  • Estimate how many troubled families reside in Middlesbrough;
  • Agree on a multi-agency process to address the needs of troubled families;
  • Agree on a performance criteria and monitoring process to measure success.

2012/04

Location

  • The problem solving groups need sharper focus and representation;
  • Criminal damage should have increased ownership and oversight;
  • Data quality issues, system issues and appropriate ownership need to be addressed for ASB (specifically within the town centre);
  • Strategies to combat town centre violence need to be developed further;
  • The Safer Neighbourhoods Group needs to have clear accountability for location-based problem solving through the Problem Solving Groups or their equivalent;
  • Representation of residents is scarce within the location-based problem solving arena and means of including views should be considered. This may identify where the majority of victims are resident;
  • Substance misuse and reducing re-offending related services should focus on priority locations, ensuring they are active within locality-based action plans.
Last updated: 07/09/12

3. Who is at risk and why?

Socioeconomic status

There is a strong correlation between locations of higher crime and high levels of deprivation and unemployment.

Unemployed people are twice as likely to be burgled and be victims of violence as the average person.

Gender

Men are more likely to commit a crime than women.

More young males are associated with ASB incidents.

Females are at a greater risk of domestic violence (82% of victims are female).

There is a high prevalence of female victims who repeatedly suffer violence.

Age

Young households are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violence as the average household.

Males aged 20-29 tend to account for the highest proportion of victims of violence associated with the night-time economy.

Females aged 25-34 are at the most risk of domestic violence.

Females aged 25-34 are at the most risk of theft from the person.

It is very rare that elderly people are victims of crime, but they are vulnerable to distraction burglaries.

Older people are more likely to suffer fear of crime and worry about being a victim.

Ethnicity

The 2010/11 British Crime Survey (BCS) showed that the risk of being a victim of personal crime was higher for adults from a mixed background than for other ethnic groups. It was also higher for members of all BME groups than for the white group.

Mental health

People with severe mental illness are responsible for one in 20 violent crimes.

Alcohol

Alcohol arrest data indicates that around 44% of offences are linked to alcohol.

Drugs

Offenders who use heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine commit between one-third and one-half of all acquisitive crimes.

Females, young people, stimulant users and those from the BME community remain under-represented within treatment.

Repeat victims

There is a high prevalence of repeat victims (3.2%).

Young men aged 16 to 24 have the highest risk (13%) of being a repeat victim of violence.

Single parents

Lone parents are twice as likely to be burgled as the average person.

Security

Households with less than ‘basic’ home security measures were considerably more likely to have been victims of burglary (3.4%) than households with ‘basic’ or ‘enhanced’ home security measures (1.4% and 0.7% respectively).

 

Last updated: 07/09/12

4. What is the level of need in the population?

Crime rates

Crime rates have reduced every year since 2008 in the main crime categories. The 2011/12 projections show that the majority of crime categories are expected to remain at a similar level (within 10% of 2010/11) or improve on the previous year. Serious acquisitive crime, other theft, serious violent crime and arson are the most challenging crime categories.

Recorded Crime

 

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12
*Projected

Serious Acquisitive Crime

3,211

2,441

2,232

2,348

Dwelling Burglary

1,142

942

979

1,160

Robbery

200

163

153

154

Theft of Motor Vehicle

532

335

267

272

Theft from Motor Vehicle

1,337

1,001

833

762

Other theft

4,762

4,182

4,014

4,640

Serious Violent Crime

104

96

123

160

Assault with Injury

1,654

1,474

1,473

1,436

Assault without Injury

1,266

952

881

712

Criminal Damage

4,595

3,692

2,972

2,872

All Crime

19,988

17,107

15,277

15,690

Arson Incidents

1,327

1,190

680

939

* Based on Apr-Sep figure

 

The projected increase in serious acquisitive crimes could be attributed to the rising number of dwelling burglaries, robberies and the theft of motor vehicles. The projected increase in ‘other theft’ could be related to the growth of unattended property break-ins and shoplifting.

The Middlesbrough Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme works with forty prolific and priority offenders and up to one hundred other high crime-causing offenders. The group focuses on those who are involved in drug-related acquisitive crime. There are still a significant proportion of individuals involved in acquisitive crime that sit outside of the IOM and are dealt with through the mainstream services including the Youth Offending Service (YOS).

Serious violent crime is projected to increase by 30%. This equates to an increase of just over 2 crimes per month and these have largely been murder, attempted murder, GBH and causing death by driving.

The main preventative activities include MARAC which focuses on the highest risk categories of domestic violence. During the first six months of 2011/12, repeat referrals to MARAC have increased to 45.7% (compared to 40.2% 2010/11). Although there has been an increase in repeat referrals, the multi-agency co-ordination is ensuring that services are doing as much as possible to reduce the level of risk to the victim. The Middlesbrough Domestic Violence Strategy Group is working hard to improve the way that perpetrators of domestic violence are dealt with. There are also plans for the Middlesbrough Family Intervention Team to take a leading role. The SAFE Domestic Violence Perpetrators Programme disbanded on 31st August 2011.

A key issue relating to this crime category is the night time economy and the impact of alcohol. The police and council licensing department continue to focus on problematic premises and locations. This is supported through the Alcohol Strategy Group and supporting action plan. The Town Centre Problem Solving Group, which is chaired by the Town Centre Manager, focuses on preventative action to reduce the number of assaults.

Cleveland Police have recognised these three crime categories as serious risks and are currently coordinating a detailed multi-agency Other Theft Action Plan.

The Cleveland Fire Brigade are projecting a significant increase of arson incidents for 2011/12 (up by 38% compared to 2010/11). This rise is due to escalating wheelie bin and vehicle thefts.

Victims

One in five victims last year reported a crime more than once. The rate of repeat victimisation has increased to 21% in 2010/11, from 15% in 2009/10 and 14% in 2008/09. Those who suffer the most are likely to be repeat victims of violence and criminal damage. There continues to be a high prevalence of female victims who repeatedly suffer violence.

The highest levels of repeat victimisation for the offences of criminal damage and assault are recorded in the town centre electoral wards, and the higher the levels of repeat victimisation, the greater the chances of knowing the offender and also of being female. Middlehaven is the electoral ward where most repeat victims of criminal damage have suffered the crime, and University ward is where most repeat victims of domestic violence suffered those crimes.

There is a group of people who have been victims and perpetrators of crime. There were 2,337 people linked as victims and perpetrators of crime within the past 3 years. Further analysis of this group is required to see how and where they could come into contact with services, and to determine the level of need.

Young people and young adults continue to be a concern. Youth generally indicates a higher correlation with victimisation, except for the offences relating to property such as burglary, fraud and criminal damage.

Very limited information is available to profile victims, either with respect to crime or ASB, within any of the systems accessible by the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership (SMP). For example, it is not possible with crime data to see if where the victim lived had any bearing on their victimisation. The systems focus on the nature of the event rather than the character of the victim (or offender).

Key concerns of residents are fearful perceptions of youths congregating on the streets, which in itself is influenced by a generalised perception of victimisation.

Offenders

There is no current systematic way of measuring the outcomes of arrests, Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) and treatment in relation to offending and re-offending (e.g., linking incidents to crimes, to arrests and offenders, and then to convictions).

Until June 2011 there was a decline in drug-related offending. In April 2010 there were 16 positive drug tests for every 100 arrests linked to acquisitive crimes and class A drug offences. In July 2011 this dropped to 9 in every hundred, but by September there were 20. Similarly, the recent ‘Operation Corral’ showed that of the 34 arrests, 20% tested positive for class A drugs.

Maintaining the means to address drug-related offending is a priority (although around 80% of offenders could fall outside of the influence of the drug-oriented SMP systems). Continued effort must also remain with cocaine users, since within DIP, 20% of those testing positive for cocaine also tested positive for opiates on different occasions.

Micase drug test results, January 2007 to September 2011, residents of Middlesbrough alone.

However, a very recent and opposite trend appears to be emerging: positive results are approaching an all-time high. And with the exception of Redcar, the proportion of positive drug tests has begun to rise across the Tees Valley within the past six months.

Out of the top 50 arrestees (those with the highest number of arrests within a rolling 12 month period, and an average of 22 arrests per person), almost 20% were under the age of 18 and so had not come into contact with DIP or adult substance misuse services. Around half of their alleged offences were not acquisitive or linked to drugs and 3 offenders had very high levels of breaches of ASBO. This highlights the need to address gateway offences such as criminal damage (which should have its own focus and oversight), antisocial behaviour and continue work on families, preventative measures and healthy alternatives.

The actual rate of reoffending (calculated using police datasets) within the offending population has not changed over the last two years.

A flaw in the crime data systems is that there is no systematic way of analysing the residence of offenders, so it is difficult to target client groups by area.3 However, from other sources (namely DIP and Alcohol Arrest) it is apparent that there is a high concentration of offenders from the town centre area (Gresham, Middlehaven and University in particular) and also East Middlesbrough (Park End and North Ormesby and Brambles Farm).

Alcohol arrest data itself indicates that around 44% of offences are linked to alcohol. Other data sources in turn indicate that harms caused by excessive drinking are increasing. The alcohol arrest data also shows that higher levels of consumption are associated with unemployment.

As with offenders, very limited information is available to profile perpetrators of ASB within any of the systems accessible by SMP. In short, existing systems are geared towards what the nature of the event was rather than the character of the offender (or victim). Local Authority systems as yet do not enable a systematic analysis of the extent of anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough in terms of the volume of incidents and the individuals either afflicted or involved.

There has been an increasing trend in opiate use, which appears to follow the end of a drought. However, there is an intelligence gap as regards the heroin market, other drugs of misuse and how these link to offending.

Families

Work in Middlesbrough to identify and support troubled families is still at a very early stage. Local definitions based on the Communities and Local Government (CLG) recommendations are required to assist in the identification of troubled families and the subsequent provision of effective support.

In addition to the recommendations from the CLG, there is a need to consider other criteria that has a serious impact on families.   This includes domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, prolific and high crime causing offending by parents and children as well as the involvement in anti-social behaviour.

Location

There is correspondence between the ranking of wards in relation to deprivation (using the community vitality index), the number of persons seen in alcohol arrest referral and the estimated cost of crimes per ward. The mean audit score (measuring severity of alcohol use) shows that levels of drinking are related to persons rather than locality.

Ward Name

Community vitality index

Alcohol AR Interventions

cost crime

Mean Audit Score

Middlehaven

1

4

1

1

Gresham

2

1

2

2

North Ormesby and Brambles Farm

3

3

3

5

Thorntree

4

6

9

5

University

5

5

5

3

Beechwood

6

9

4

5

Pallister

7

7

7

8

Hemlington

8

12

10

3

Clairville

9

14

15

4

Beckfield

10

10

12

5

Park End

11

2

11

5

Ayresome

12

8

13

7

Park

13

15

6

4

Ladgate

14

13

16

3

Stainton and Thornton

15

17

22

9

Linthorpe

16

12

8

6

Coulby Newham

17

11

14

6

Marton

18

18

19

6

Acklam

19

19

18

11

Kader

20

16

17

7

Brookfield

21

16

20

3

Marton West

22

20

23

10

Nunthorpe

23

21

21

NA

The main hotspot areas for crime and ASB over the past three years have been Middlehaven and Gresham. Over one-quarter of all crime and disorder within the town over the past three years occurred in a small quadrant within these wards. Albert Road, Corporation Road, Albert Mews, Wilson Street and Zetland Road in Middlehaven, and the Jewel Streets, Albany Street, and Parliament Road/ Enfield Street in Gresham have the highest concentrations of crime and disorder.

Gresham has the largest population per ward in Middlesbrough and occupies one of the smallest areas and therefore is likely to have the largest share of resident victims and offenders living closely together.

North Ormesby and Brambles Farm feature the next highest hotspot and Peaton Street is the key location. James Cook University and the Viewley Centre in Hemlington both appear as isolated hotspots.

Despite a reduction in criminal damage in Middlesbrough, it has increased in Middlehaven and Gresham. Middlehaven is the ward where most repeat victims of criminal damage have suffered this crime. Criminal damage is also seen as a gateway offence so effective measures to combat it should have a positive effect on crime generally.

The highest levels of repeat victimisation for the offences of criminal damage and assault are recorded in the town centre wards. University is the ward where most where most repeat victims of domestic violence suffered those crimes.

There is an issue regarding data quality and systems. About 50% of incidents are categorised as ‘qualifiers not applicable’; it is also dealt with by the day time group, but 70% of the incidents occur at night. In general, local authority systems currently do not allow the identification of repeat victimisation or perpetration of ASB. Police systems do not allow the identification of repeat perpetrators. ASB and crime data cannot be cross-referenced on the basis of victim or perpetrator.

Last updated: 07/09/12

5. What services are currently provided?

The criminal justice system is very complex and is best explained by the following resources:

Cleveland Criminal Justice Board

Victim Support

Last updated: 07/09/12

6. What is the projected level of need?

Funding

The impact of government spending cuts is being felt in Middlesbrough and this is having a profound effect on what can be delivered at a local level. The full effect of cuts will affect all parts of the criminal justice system including:

  • Community engagement;
  • Crime prevention (fewer police, street wardens);
  • Work with offenders (reduced support via Probation, YOS);
  • Voluntary sector support for victims;
  • Voluntary sector work with offenders;
  • Work with troubled families.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

The first Cleveland PCC will be elected in November 2012 and will set priorities. There will be a need to engage quickly with them to ensure local needs continue to be addressed and that funding transfers seamlessly to them.

Last updated: 07/09/12

7. What needs might be unmet?

Victim

There is very little information for people who are victims and perpetrators.

Victims of particular crimes are more vulnerable than others but interventions are not focused on specific crime groups.

Victimisation is addressed by distinct thematic groups, which leaves gaps for complex cases and victims of multiple, low to medium impact offences.

Offender

Independent consultation with offenders shows that access to employment and housing remain a major issue for them and that they see these as priorities in achieving a crime free life.

Other theft is on an increasing trend but has low detection rates.

Peer support for offenders has been identified as a priority need by service providers and service users but there is currently no capacity to provide this. This is being addressed through a newly commissioned service but there is a need to identify and train up to 150 appropriate ex-offenders/substance users to meet demand.

Location

Gresham, North Ormesby and Grove Hill have been identified as areas that impact disproportionately on local crime figures, and there are now multi-agency processes being developed to tackle local issues. However, this can be hampered by the lack of resource available at a local level and the way that services are organised to deal with district issues rather than locality-specific issues.

There are not clear pathways for accountability for locality related issues.

Consultation and engagement processes with residents are not robust.

Last updated: 07/09/12

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

The evidence base for effective interventions across such a broad subject area is too large to summarise here. Below are links to other sources of information that are related to crime and community safety in general:

The Home Office produce online information in relation to effective practice. This sets out examples of effective practice from around the country, covering issues such as burglary, robbery and prostitution.

A Scottish Government paper sets out the main evidence for why offenders move away from committing more crimes in the future.

The Seven Pathways to Reducing Reoffending (Reducing Reoffending National Action Plan, Home Office, 2004) is Probation guidance on how to effectively reduce reoffending.

The HMIC recommend the following for reducing ASB

The evidence for the multi-agency approach to address troubled families is still in the development stages however CLG make reference to effective partnership working to address the needs of troubled families in Westminster (The Westminster Model) which highlights structure and cost savings as a result of their approach.

Last updated: 07/09/12

9. What do people say?

The Voice Over survey gives an indication of local perceptions of crime-related issues.

Reasons for feeling unsafe

Among those who said they felt unsafe in their local area, the most common reasons given were:

  • Groups of youths congregating (70%);
  • Fear of harassment from young people (68%);
  • Feeling vulnerable due to race, age etc. (28%);
  • Bad reputation of the area (24%). 

Description: Feeling Unsafe

Perceptions of crime

All panel members were asked how worried they were about becoming a victim of crime in their local area.  In total, over one third of panel members were very or fairly worried about this (38%) whilst over six in ten (62%) are not very worried or not at all worried.

Description: Becoming a victim worry

Anti-social behaviour

Description: ASB Perception

Last updated: 07/09/12

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

Victim

There is no baseline for measuring levels of victimisation and repeat victimisation, and no agreed mechanism for analysing trends or patterns in first time victimisation.

There are a large group of people who have both suffered and perpetrated crimes, and this needs to be developed.

Although there are systems and processes in place for identifying and supporting the victims of low impact and high volume crimes, there are no such means for victims of high volume, low to medium impact crimes, such as criminal damage or less serious violence. There are also currently no means of cross-referencing victims of both ASB and crime which could have an impact on addressing this issue.

Offender

There is an information gap regarding the links between areas in which offenders live and whether this correlates with a propensity to commit particular crimes or having particular criminogenic needs.

Although national indicators have been produced for measuring reoffending,  these are very complex and take up to two years to report results.  A local reducing reoffending indicator set is being developed.

Families

Families have been identified as a specific theme. This will require specific needs analysis.

Location

Both crime and ASB systems do not provide the means for assessing the crime-related needs of local populations based on their residence.

Current local consultation and engagement processes with residents do not appear to be representative of the affected population. Consideration should be given to find the appropriate means to address this gap.

Preliminary analysis has identified a number of specific areas in the town with long-term, high volumes of crime, but more detailed analysis (which could be in the form of problem profiles) needs to be undertaken to pick out specific issues and needs.

Last updated: 07/09/12

Key Contact

Name: David Jackson

Job Title:Manager, Safer Middlesbrough Partnership

e-mail:david_jackson@middlesbrough.gov.uk

phone:01642 728766