Reports of violence have risen significantly across Thurrock – particularly domestic violence, new figures have revealed.

The council has published a report that shows crimes categorised as “violence against the person” have shot up from 3,940 to 5,696 between March 2018 and March 2019.

Of the 44 per cent increase, 38 per cent are “domestic related”.

The report also notes a “worrying” increase in people found to be in possession of weapons with reports reaching 170 in 2019, up from 119 the previous year.

Other crimes, including sexual offences, robbery with violence, theft and criminal damage are also up.

Yet Thurrock Council and council leader Rob Gledhill were unable to supply the Gazette a comment on the situation by our deadline.

Luke Spillman, Thurrock Independents leader, called the increase in crime “disturbing”.

However, a spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Thurrock and Essex remain safe places to live and work”.

They added: “We have seen reports of anti-social behaviour drop for the third year in a row and we have increased our effective and responsible use of stop-and-search powers to detect and prevent crime.

“In the 12 months to the end of March 2019, the number of violence with injury offences per 1,000 people was lower in Thurrock than the national average.

“We also saw 104 fewer burglaries compared to the previous financial year.”

Labour councillor John Kent, called the statistics a “shocking indictment” of the lack of investment in policing.

He said: “They tell us time and time again that things are getting better, there is more investment and war is being waged on criminals.

“The stark facts show that to be a load of baloney. We have seen three police stations close and crimes of ‘violence against the person’ have risen by 44.6 per cent – while Essex Police has lost a thousand police officers since 2010.”

Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “It is important to note that the figures in the report reflect reported crime. We encourage all our residents to report any crime as this provides the police with the intelligence they need to work effectively in Thurrock.

Since the reporting period there has been a decrease in both burglary and anti-social behaviour in the borough.

“Under the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner new officers have been recruited and Essex currently has 3,068 officers rising to 3,218 by 2020. Additionally with the 20,000 new officers being recruited nationally this number is only set to rise.

“With the creation of New Town Centre Teams dedicated to policing Grays, South Ockendon and Stanford-le-Hope, residents have told us these new teams are making a difference and they have seen a greater police presence on our streets. Their impact is not reflected in this report.

“Partnership work has led to other successful local projects including targeting gang-related activity; knife crime; nuisance motorcycle and quadbike riders; and anti-social behaviour and activities linked to nitrous oxide canisters.

“The council is committed to spending £1million over the next three years to tackle anti-social behaviour and serious violence in our borough. Thurrock has also benefitted from significant investment provided by central government to help tackle violence and vulnerability and improving awareness in schools and youth services.”