Violent crime has risen since January 2021 (inset: Nottingham City centre)

Reports of violent crime in Nottinghamshire have nearly hit the same level as before the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

CBJ Target’s analysis of crime data held by Police UK showed a 77 percent decrease in the number of city centre cases being reported to Nottinghamshire Police between the height of lockdown and August of this year.

Worryingly reports of violent crime had returned to close to pre-pandemic levels with eight calls per day in August.

Nearly 3,000 calls were made over violent and sexual offences in the year between September 2018 and September 2019.

But Nottinghamshire Police say the figures do not accurately reflect the number of crimes.

A Notts police spokesman said: “As we have said repeatedly, Police.UK statistics do not illustrate numbers of crimes – they show reports of crimes.

“It is often the case that a single crime can be reported by more than one person. So in a busy metropolitan city centre you would expect that many people may report seeing the same crime – but it is still only one crime.

“This means Police.UK figures are not only meaningless for an illustration of crime levels but also for comparison to other geographical areas as they do not reflect the numbers of actual crimes.

“Whilst it may suit the media to use these figures to present a certain picture, I actually think this is very misleading.

“I’m sure the public would much rather understand the actual numbers of crimes happening in their area, which is why the Home Office and all police forces use actual verified crime data, published by the Office for National Statistics.

The number of cases of violence and sexual offences in Nottingham city centre has returned to pre-pandemic levels (Data: Police.UK)

“These figures showed that all crime fell by 21 per cent in Nottinghamshire in the last financial year.

“This is comfortably ahead of the national average of 14 per cent and bettered only by the City of London Police – which covers just a square mile of the capital.

“So people in Nottinghamshire can be reassured that crime is reducing here at a bigger rate than almost all other places in the country thanks to our proactive policing style, including dedicated teams to tackle issues that impact on people most such as robbery, burglary and knife crime.

“Our specialist Reacher teams have also had an incredible impact in every neighbourhood across Nottinghamshire.”

Official data has shown that in the Nottingham City neighbourhood there was an average of eight reports of violent and sexual offences each day during August 2021.

The number of cases reported in March 2020 was 174. In August 2021, 249 city centre cases were reported to Nottinghamshire Police.

Offending continued at a similar rate until March 2020 with a further 1,228 cases being reported.

In the first month of lockdown in the UK, however, the monthly figures dropped 63.2 percent from 174 in March 2020 to just 64 in April 2020.

The number of cases increased as lockdown eased during the summer of 2020, peaking at 162 in August 2020.

A brief decline in offending saw figures of less than 100 reported a month between November 2020 and April 2021.

The area of the Arboretum has seen 682 reports of incidents since January 1, 2021 in comparison to 1071 city centre cases in the same time frame.

Crimes which fit the ‘violence and sexual offences’ classification, include:

  • harassment and common assault
  • murder, actual bodily harm, and grievous bodily harm
  • sexual assault, rape, and indecent exposure