CRIME rose across almost every part of Southampton last year, especially in the most deprived areas, new figures have shown.

A review into the city’s crime rates found that the overall number of incidents recorded in 2021/22 was up by 7.4 per cent from 2019/20.

Making up 20 per cent of Hampshire Constabulary’s overall crime records, the city saw increases in 13 of its 16 wards.

The overall crime rate in the 20 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods was also 2.6 times higher than the 20 per cent least deprived with the largest increases in Freemantle, Swaythling and Bevois.

Among the highest increases were stalking and harassment (75.2 per cent), modern slavery (82.4 per cent) and hate crime (42.9 per cent).

Cllr Dave Shields, who represents Freemantle told the Echo he is concerned by the rise in his ward.

But he said it "doesn't come entirely as a shock", calling for more police in the area. 

He said: "As councillors, we regularly go out and we hear from residents. People don’t feel that there are sufficient police around.

"Their resources are stretched very much to breaking point. Recourses go into the city centre, such that there is not enough police support.

"It reflects the low level of policing that we have got in Southampton.

"I’d like to see more investment in resources for policing. We do need to make sure that Hampshire is getting it’s fair share and Southampton is getting it’s fair share."

Cllr Shields added that parts of Freematle have elements of the inner city such as its nightlife and other improvements should be made including betters cameras.

Increases were also recorded across the city in violent crime, domestic crime, sexual offences and drug offences.

However, burglary, theft, robbery, vehicle offences, arson, firearms offences and cruelty to children dropped.

But now this has re-sparked fears that crime will only increase again if street lighting is turned off in areas of the city.

As previously reported, in the city council’s budget for 2023/24, plans are being considered to turn off lights in areas of Southampton for all or parts of the night in a bid to fill a £2m black hole.

The deputy leader of the Conservative Group on the council, Cllr Jeremy Moulton has said his party is “strongly opposed” to this.

He said: “This proposal takes the city in totally the wrong direction. It would ignore the views of local people. It would make the fear of crime and crime worse.

“It also undermines efforts made by the Home Office and the city council to improve safety in the city, who have been funding improved lighting and CCTV, amongst other initiatives.

“We would be very keen to support any efforts to stop this dangerous policy of the current council.”

Figures from the Safer City Partnership annual review show that in 2021/22, Southampton had an overall crime rate of 136 crimes per 1,000 population.

The figures refer to the period between April 2021 and March 2022.

They are due to be considered in a meeting of the city council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee this Thursday.

The partnership, which is made up of council representatives, police, the fire service, the probation service and the area's integrated care board has now identified three main priorities for keeping Southampton safe.

These are keeping people safe from harm, preventing and reducing offending, and creating safe and stronger communities.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't just take my word for it - subscribe today.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by searching Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents on Facebook

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated group by searching Hampshire Court and Crime News on Facebook