The number of recorded crimes in Northumberland has reduced over the past 10 years, from 16,461 for the year ending 31 March 2009, to 10,352 by 31 March 2014. This reduction has been across all crimes, with the largest reduction (63%) for violence against a person (without injury). The rate of crime attributable to alcohol has also reduced over the past five years.
Antisocial behaviour incidents in the county have reduced from 18,144 in 2011/12 to 16,316 in 2012/13.
According to Northumberland Fire and Rescue service, the number of emergency incidents, dwelling fires and road traffic collisions attended, dropped between 2009/10 and 2012/13.
The number of problem drug misusers aged 15-64 in Northumberland has risen from 1,068 in 2006/07, to 1,324 in 2011/12. This is an increase in rate per 1,000 of the population from 5.3 to 6.5.
Perceptions of crime
There are various surveys carried out on Northumberland residents which provide an insight into their perceptions of crime.
Results from the quarterly ‘safer communities’ survey provides information on antisocial behaviour problems and residents’ perceptions of their neighbourhood.
The Northumbria police ‘user satisfaction’ survey consults with victims of crime and found that 99% of victims were either completely, very or fairly satisfied with the actions of the police (April 2014 – March 2015).
‘The place’ survey, carried out in 2008 on behalf of Northumberland County Council, showed that 62.2% of residents were very, or fairly, satisfied with their local police force. This is higher than the England figure of 56%. When outside the local area in the dark, 64.1% of those questioned felt safe, compared to 50% in the North East and 51% in England.
Several surveys of Northumberland residents have taken place in the last few years. These have included questions on community wellbeing. Information has been collected with regards to the satisfaction with the local area and public services, safety in the local area and antisocial behaviour.
The ‘Northumberland resident perception’ survey was a postal survey carried out in 2012 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Northumberland County Council. It was delivered to 10,700 randomly selected addresses, of which 3,620 (34%) valid responses were received. When asked about general satisfaction with the local area, key priorities were shown to be:
When asked about improvements which could be made, the following were identified as most in need of improvement:
- road and pavement repairs
- job prospects
- street cleanliness
- level of anti-social behaviour
- affordable, decent housing
- care and support for the elderly
The ‘peoples’ panel’ is a database of 1,100 residents who have expressed an interest in being involved in consultation exercises with the council. A survey is sent to panel members approximately every three months, requesting their views on specific issues. Questions relating to community wellbeing were included in the October 2011 people’s panel survey. When asked if residents felt local public services were working to make the area safer, 11% agreed a great deal, 56% agreed to some extent, 17% did not agree very much and 6% did not agree at all. When asked if they thought local public services were working, 65% thought they were. 27% of those surveyed thought there was a problem with people not treating others with respect, which was far lower than the figure of 35% for the North East.
- road and pavement repairs (56%)
- job prospects (41%)
- clean streets (31%)