CRIME hotspots across Colchester have been revealed in new data which shows more than 200 incidents were reported from the town centre - in one month.

Data published by the Police.UK website shows there were 1,858 crimes reported in March across the borough.

March is the latest month available with recorded data, showing a rise on the 1,605 crimes recorded in February.

There were 234 crimes reported in the Colchester Town area, consisting of 76 cases of anti-social behaviour and 67 cases involving violence or sexual offences.

South of Colchester Town and the Hythe area recorded 224 crimes.

Essex Police said Covid-19 breaches were recorded as antisocial behaviour in police figures, which will have raised the number of cases beyond typical levels.

Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, said: “The figure for the area around North Station can be linked to recent high levels of shoplifting and public drunkenness in that area.

“The police have responded, there’s been lots of trouble around the One Stop shop, mostly shoplifting – one guy came into the store, grabbed a basket and full up of meat and went out the door again.

“It was all covered on film and I believe the police are investigating.”

Chelmsford Weekly News: Mike Lilley with former district commander Shaun KaneMike Lilley with former district commander Shaun Kane

Mr Lilley said an action plan had been put together together with Colchester’s community policing team to ensure public safety as pubs and bars reopen their indoor spaces to punters.

Mr Lilley said issues had already been raised at one town centre pub last weekend, after a fight broke out in the outdoor seating area.

The council visited the pub and advised the premises to put more doormen in place.

“The council must work with licensed premises to take a zero tolerance to any misbehaviour,” he said.

“We appeal to everybody to book a table, sit with friends have a laugh and a joke and just stick to that.

“There’s always some moron out there who’s had too much to drink and the old adage of ‘you bumped into me and spilled my pint’ comes into play.”

A total of 175 crimes were reported in the Myland area, including 63 cases involving violence or sexual offences.

Colchester's district commander said Colchester remains a safe place to work, live and study as overall levels of crime fell during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Essex Police said figures for the 12 months to the end of April 2021 show the force recorded almost 2,000 fewer crimes across the borough than the year before.

The force said it had seen fewer reports of people being injured following assaults, sexual offences, robbery, burglary, and vehicle crime.

Taking in the year to April 2021, Essex Police said there had been 151 fewer offences of violence with injury, a drop of 4.6 per cent.

It also recorded 47 fewer sexual assaults, down 7.3 per cent, and 19 fewer robberies, a decline of 13.5 per cent.

The force said its “relentless” work targeting drug and street gangs had resulted in a rise in recorded drug offences over the past year.

Chief Inspector Jon Evans, district commander for Colchester, said: “Colchester continues to be a really safe place to live, work and study.

“Recorded crime is falling and we are putting in place measures to ensure victims of crime are being better supported.

“We’ve launched a new victim’s code to ensure victims are at the heart of everything we do and that provide them the best support and service we possibly can.

“Our victim feedback panels ensure we learn from where things work and where we can do better.

“And the force continues to grow – by next March we will have more than 3,369 brave men and women keeping you safe.

“As part of our continual investment we are introducing new teams of specialist officers to tackle domestic abuse and support victims.

“We’re also making sure we’re attracting people from more diverse backgrounds through our ‘We Value Difference’ recruitment campaign so our force is reflective of the communities we represent.”

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