The number of homicides has almost doubled in the North East in one year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Between June 2018 and June 2019, the number of homicides in the region jumped from 20 to 39.
An FOI request sent to Northumbria Police revealed that there were 10 homicides in the last full financial year ending with 2017/18. The Office for National Statistics also recently published data that shows Cleveland, Durham and Northumberland all saw a dramatic increase in the number of homicides reported in that year.
Between June 2018-2019, Cleveland saw a rise of seven murders to 14. Durham saw a rise of three to eight and Northumbria saw a rise of 10 to 17.
Responding to these figures, a spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Numbers don’t ever tell the whole story and it is therefore important to look at these figures in context. We are not seeing a significant rise in homicides.” He went on to say: “It is also important to recognise the Northumbria force area remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit and we continue to experience lower levels of violent crime than other big cities. On those rare occasions when a homicide does take place, the public should be reassured that we have an experienced and dedicated Homicide and Major Enquiry Team who can bring offenders to justice and offer support and compassion to the families and victims.”
A Victim Support spokesperson said: “The rise in homicides is deeply concerning, given the long-lasting impact that this crime has on friends and family as well as the wider community. Our national homicide service can help people know what to expect from the criminal justice system, provide support for immediate practical needs and give access to services such as financial assistance, bereavement counselling, restorative justice, debt advice, legal advice and more.”
The Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner declined to comment.