‘Ripping communities apart’: Tower Hamlets top ten in London crime count, figures reveal

Test purchasers were sent to 120 shops in the borough last year to check whether they would sell kni

Test purchasers were sent to 120 shops in the borough last year to check whether they would sell knives to under 18s. Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PA ARCHIVE/PA IMAGES - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Tower Hamlets is one of the top ten boroughs in the capital for crime, a count has revealed.

In total there were 31,853 crimes reported in the borough in the last financial year, according to figures released on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics.

The borough has the sixth highest total across London with Westminster seeing the most with 57,496 crimes. The City of London saw the least (5,392).

There were seven killings during that period with robberies (1,541), drug (1,559) and sex offences (743) all rising on the year before. The year to March 2017 saw six homicides in the borough.

Asst Com Martin Hewitt, responsible for frontline policing, said: “The Met continues to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources.

“I am very concerned about the rise in crime in the capital, particularly murder, violent crime and knife crime.

“My thoughts are with the victims’ families of these tragic and horrific crimes which have brought untold misery to countless people.”

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “These latest national statistics confirm that violent crime is ripping communities apart and devastating too many lives.

“And they confirm the terrible consequences of a government in denial about the terrible impact its cuts have had in tackling crime and the causes of crime.

“The figures must surely serve as a wake-up call for the government to change its ways.”

Police minister Nick Hurd said: “Every violent crime is a significant concern and the government is taking decisive action to tackle it.

“We recognise crime is changing and that police demand is becoming increasingly complex.”

He welcomed a shift towards people reporting hidden crimes and that more victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence felt empowered to come forward.

Businesses were hit with 1,228 cases of shoplifting, down on the previous year’s total of 1,414. There were 1,822 cases of stalking or harrassment the year to March 2018 compared to 1,734 over the 12 months before.

Cases of violence with injury dropped slightly from 2,853 to 2,818 during the same periods.

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