THE death of Sarah Everard has raised many questions on the number of cases of harassment, sexual offences and domestic abuse in the UK.
SR News has analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the North East to understand the situation in our region.
Data shows how every day in the region there are 138 victims of domestic abuse, 103 of stalking and harassment and 21 of sexual offences.
This is equivalent to nearly 11 victims per hour – most of them women.
In the year to September 2020, the ONS figures show there were 50,513 cases – 138 a day – of domestic abuse. Of these, 24,710 were recorded by Northumbria Police (NP) – that’s 68 a day – with 13,949 recorded by Durham Police (DP) – 38 a day; – and 11,854 by Cleveland Police (CP) – 32 cases a day.
In 2016, the total number of cases recorded in the North East was 20,396, more cases than reported in previous years.
Between March 23 and May 10 2020 – during the first lockdown – compared with the same period in 2019, NP recorded 286 extra cases in only 50 days.
This took the force’s total number of recorded domestic abuse victims at that point from 4,913 to 5,199, with 4,118 being female.
The most common age range of victims was 26-30 (955 cases); 31-35 (906); 36-40 (732); 21-25 (711); 41-45 (514).
Stalking and harassment
There were 37,912 cases of stalking and harassment recorded in the North East – that’s 103 a day; 16,369 of them recorded by NP (45 a day); 12,277 by DP (33 a day); 9,266 by CP (25 a day).
Stalking and harassment cases in England comprise 9.2% of the overall crime, but in our region this percentage is 14.2% and 11.2% in the Northumbria Police area.
According to the ONS figures, there were 7,750 cases of sexual offences in the region (21 a day); 4,077 in the NP area (11 a day); 1,837 by DP (5 a day); 1,836 by CP (5 a day). This includes a range of offences, from rape to harassment and common assault.
According to data for January 2021, in key areas of the region a further 1,255 cases of violence and sexual offences were recorded.
The area with the highest number of cases recorded is West South Shields and Riverside (209 cases) followed by Newcastle East (173); Gateshead (150) and North Shields (138).
Under lockdown, the number of cases in Newcastle Central dropped to 66 cases in January 2021, from 235 the previous year – when bars, clubs and restaurants in the city centre were still open.