Part of the region saw a staggering 15% rise in crime over the last year, according to new statistics.

The Cleveland Police force area saw the fourth biggest rise in recorded crime of any police force in England and Wales.

Only Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and City of London police recorded bigger increases over the year ending March 2023.

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The figures also revealed shocking rises in the number of robbery, theft and burglary-related crimes in the area, which has previously been branded a burglary hotspot.

Robberies were up 36% on the previous year while residential burglaries increased by a third.

Theft was up 24% to give Cleveland the highest rate of thefts outside of London.

Responding to the increase a spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “Levels of crime are often influenced by complex and challenging socio-economic factors including deprivation and unemployment. Cleveland has had high levels of these factors for several years.

“We are aware of the high crime figures and are striving to reduce crime and address the underlying issues along with our strategic partners.

“A new meeting process has been set up to monitor and manage levels of crime which focuses on pursuing offenders, acting on crime trends and longer-term problem-solving measures.

“Cleveland Police has also introduced a new operational model which sees four District Commanders in each district of Stockton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland deliver local policing to our communities.

“This new model will allow us to be more accessible and visible to our communities while responding to crimes that cause the most harm to our residents more effectively.

“Victims are at the heart of everything we do as a Force and reducing the number of victims of crime, as well as providing an outstanding service, is our primary objective.”

Meanwhile in Durham crime was up 9% year-on-year and Northumbria saw a 5% spike.

Only seven of England and Wales’ 43 forces saw a reduction in the number of crimes being committed.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner added: “While the statistics may appear concerning, it is crucial to recognise the ongoing improvements Cleveland Police are making with some of the highest arrest and charge rates of any force in the country. This, coupled with increasing public confidence in reporting crime, has significantly contributed to these most recent figures.

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“Nevertheless, even one victim is one too many, and I am fully committed to ensuring Cleveland Police continues to make improvements, as highlighted in the latest HMICFRS report earlier this year.

“I will continue my rigorous program of scrutiny, focusing on the work undertaken in these areas whilst delivering appropriate challenge and support to the forces leadership.

“I am actively involved in addressing the underlying issues that have plagued Cleveland for an extended period, including poor housing conditions, low income, lack of opportunity, illegal drugs, and organized crime gangs and high reoffending rates. These factors all have the potential to trigger offending behaviour, and it is essential to address them proactively.

“By working collaboratively to enforce the law and simultaneously addressing the root causes of crime, we can effectively combat these issues. It is through this partnership and a proactive approach that we can make a lasting impact on the safety and well-being of our community.”