Sussex Police have pledged to take ‘robust action’ after it was revealed violent crime has risen by 16 per cent in the Horsham area.
Violent crime in the district increased by 444 over the past year, a 16 per cent increase according to Sussex Police.
The surge in reports was highlighted by Inspector Jim Loader of the Sussex Police Horsham Prevention Team at a Horsham District neighbourhood watch meeting.
He said Horsham and Southwater were ‘particularly affected’ by violent crime.
A police spokeswoman said: “Some of this can be attributed to a rise in violent youth related incidents that we’ve been seeing in Horsham and Southwater specifically. Those involved with these matters are known to us and we are working closely with partners to ensure robust action is taken.”
Hot-spot areas will be targeted with ‘high visibility patrols’ and officers will work with social services and council wardens, she added.
The spokeswoman said police would ‘tackle the issue in such a way as to prevent further offences as well as robustly prosecuting the offences that are reported’.
But vehicle crime has also risen, with 371 offences over the past year, up by 21 per cent, according to police.
At the meeting in Billingshurst, guest speaker Inspector Loader urged drivers to remove valuables from vehicles and check they are locked to combat the ‘ongoing trend’.
She added: “We have responded robustly to a series of vehicle breaks by identifying a number of offenders who have subsequently been arrested.
“Officers have been targeting the known and repeated areas of offences with high visibility patrols and broadcasting crime prevention advice to the local community.”
‘Nuisance’ antisocial behaviour has dropped by 12 per cent and ‘environmental’ antisocial behaviour has dropped by 26 per cent, the spokeswoman said.
She added: “‘Personal’ antisocial behaviour has increased by 15 per cent over the year, these cases often relate to targeted anti-social behaviour which can include disputes between neighbours.
“Whenever antisocial behaviour is recorded as personal, a problem profile is developed and we engage with local partners including housing and social services where appropriate, to try and resolve the issue through multi-agency work.
“This can range from mediation to anti-social behaviour contracts to eviction proceedings depending on the situation.”
For more about Neighbourhood Watch in the Horsham area, visit the group’s website or Facebook page; or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.