The top ten most dangerous areas of the country for violent crimes such as murders, sex attacks and thefts are almost all in the north of England, a new league table of misdemeanours revealed today.
Cleveland has the highest proportion of crime victims in England and Wales where almost one in ten people living in towns such as Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar have been targeted in the past year.
Six people in the area were murdered or killed there in a spate of violent crimes between Christmas and New Year 2019 alone.
Cleveland, where arson rates are four times the national average, is followed by nearby West Yorkshire in second, South Yorkshire in third, Durham in fourth and Humberside in fifth.
The northern-dominated group also includes Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Northumbria – with only Kent and London representing the south in the top ten.
The safest of the 42 police force areas in England and Wales are Hertfordshire, West Mercia, Gloucestershire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Dyfed-Powys, Devon and Cornwall and North Yorkshire.
London, which has a rate of 80.3, is the area you are most likely to be stolen from or suffer a violent robbery.
Between June 2019 and June 2020, Cleveland saw 23,675 instances of violence against a person , Home Office figures revealed.
Falling within this category were 11 homicides, 5,485 instances of violence with injury and 9,135 without, 9,040 cases of stalking and harassment and four deaths or serious injuries by unlawful driving.
In Cleveland there were six deaths after violent attacks last Christmas, including four murders.
Michael Deakin died after a fight in Stockton on December 27 2019 and Francis Betteridge, 62, died after a violent attack in Middlesbrough on the same day.
Two days later John Wright, 41, was murdered by Jordan Vaughan, 21, and in nearby Redcar Stacey Cooper, 34, was knifed to death on New Year’s Eve. Her suspected murderer was found dead in a prison cell before his trial.
In Redcar, Stacey Cooper (right), 34, was knifed to death on New Year’s Eve. Her suspected murderer was found dead in a prison cell before his trial. Left: Suspect Liam Murray
Arson in the Cleveland area is also costing the taxpayer £18million-a-year with 85% of fire brigade calls for deliberate fires such as the torching of bins or cars reaching almost 4,000 in 2018/19.
In second place West Yorkshire, they launched Operation Jemlock to combat serious violence and knife crime because it had the highest rate of violent crime – including 26 murders.
Last month the force revealed more than 4,000 arrests have now been made by officers and more than 500 weapons have been seized.
This included the death of 39-year-old Asghar Badshah, who was reported missing on December 4 last year. His body was discovered in the wall cavity of the former Yorkshire Bank building in Batley, which is believed to have been empty since its closure in 2016.
Pictured: Detectives arrive at Ms Cooper’s house after she was found dead in Redcar
The Home Office data, from June 2019 to June 2020, also reveals how the first national lockdown led to a collapse in recorded crime, especially criminal damage, sex attacks, burglaries, sex offences and thefts.
But murder went up almost 10 per cent, domestic violence and violent crime rose three per cent and stalking cases – likely to be via social media as people were stuck at home – spiking 13 per cent in that time, according to The Sun.
Last month the chief constable of England’s second largest police force dramatically quit last night over a damning report which found one in five crimes was going unrecorded.
Less than 24 hours after Greater Manchester Police was placed in special measures over the findings, chief constable Ian Hopkins announced he was quitting his £200,000-a-year post.
The measures were introduced after a damning report found GMP had failed to record a staggering 80,000 crimes in just 12 months.
Mr Hopkins’ position became untenable after Boris Johnson branded the scandal ‘incredibly disappointing’ on a visit to the region, adding: ‘Those responsible obviously must be held to account.’
Labour mayor Andy Burnham faced calls from opposition MPS for his own resignation – but he refused.