Rapes and gun crime on the rise in Newham

Crime figures just released showed that rapes and incidents involving guns in Newham rose last year.

In 2009 there were 122 recorded rapes, while last year the figure went up to 190. There were 121 incidents of gun crime in 2009 but the figure went up to 196 last year.

The figures for Newham are a stark contrast to those for London as a whole where there has been a year-on-year decrease, especially in gun crime. The figures went down from 3,383 to 3,031 in 2010.

Newham saw rises in nine out of 13 categories of crime measured. Homicides were up from eight to 14, rapes from 122 to 190, other sexual crimes were up from 292 to 300, total robberies went up from 2,083 to 2,382. There were falls in domestic crime from 2,300 to 2,194, racist and religious crime went down from 228 to 217 and homophobic crime fell from 39 to 26. Non residential burglaries fell from 1,301 to 1,296.

Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Letchford said: “While we are always keeping a very close eye on Newham’s rape figures and any emerging trends, the Metropolitan Police and partners have been working very hard in communities across London to engage with victims of rape to make them feel safe and comfortable to come forward to speak to police. Therefore, we do not always view an increase in rape reports as negative, but an indicator that more people are feeling able to come forward to speak to police to report their incident, which we will always encourage.

“Four new rape centres have also recently been opened in London by Boris Johnson, providing a haven for victims where they can receive fantastic levels of support. A new website has additionally been launched providing advice around sexual violence, continuing raising awareness around the issue.”

Addressing the gun crime figures, he said: “We are working very hard keep guns off of Newham streets and continue to work with the community and young people to educate them of the dangers and consequences if they are caught with or hiding it for someone else. I urge anyone with any information about a gun to come forward and speak to police, which you can do anonymously through Crimestoppers.”