Why Is Crime So High In Sunderland?

Written by regionadmin

22nd July 2020

Over the centuries, Sunderland has been home to a wide range of industries, such as pottery, limestone quarrying, coal mining and shipbuilding. Many of the district’s population were shipbuilders, given that the town is divided by the River Wear. For this reason, Sunderland was one of the country’s chief ship-building towns, at one point hailed as the “Largest Ship Building Town in the World”.

Additionally, the region is popular for its history of glassmaking, which dates as far back as over 200 years ago. However, overseas competition forced the closure of many of the town’s glass-making factories. Years later, in 1998, the National Glass Centre opened as a famous tourist attraction to remember the distinguished industry history.

Despite the region’s impressive past, the present day is much more sombre. Sunderland and its residents actively struggle with the glaring issues of felony, and the rising crime figures along with it. In this article, we will be taking a look at the crime in Sunderland and answer the question of why is crime so high in Sunderland.

why is crime so high in sunderland

Is Sunderland Dangerous?

According to CrimeRate, Sunderland ranks as the third most dangerous major town in the Tyne & Wear region. While Sunderland crime is 5% lower than that of the North East, it remains a staggering 25% higher than the UK’s average figure. Additionally, March 2024 was a horrible month for Sunderland, struggling against 125 reported cases of burglary, and 74 cases of other crimes. The worst consistent crimes, however, were violence and sexual offences, with 11,569 offences reported in 2023/24 alone.

Is Sunderland A Safe Place To Live?

Over the past few years, crime in Sunderland has been gradually climbing, and this is reflected in people’s sentiments towards the town. According to Sunderland Echo, in a survey commissioned by the town’s council in 2021, only 17% of the people who took part mentioned feeling safe in the city centre after dark. A frightening two-thirds of respondents mentioned that they felt varying degrees of unsafe. The response prompted an outcry from residents who are urging the council to tackle the problem and restore the residents’ feeling of safety.

Crime In Sunderland

According to crimesinmyarea, there were a total number of 38,468 offences reported in 2023 within the town. This results in a crime rate of 140 per 1,000 residents in Sunderland, which is an increase of  2.54% from the previous year. Of these crimes, violence and sexual offences accounted for 31.7% of them. Unfortunately, this is not the only common crime, either, as it’s quickly succeeded by anti-social behaviour at a staggering 7970 reported cases (20.7%). These results begin to make it clear as to why locals feel unsafe in the town centre. Despite the unpleasant statistics, it only places Sunderland as the 9th most dangerous area when compared against 24 other boroughs.

Of the 25 wards in Sunderland, Millfield holds the top spot with the highest crime rate. Currently standing, Millfield’s crime rate is 340 per 1,000 daytime population. This is followed closely by Hendon (315 per 1,000) and then Southwick (213 per 1,000). On the other hand, the safest wards are Doxford, with a crime rate of 76 per 1,000 people, Washington South (78 per 1,000) and Fulwell (80 per 1,000).

crime in sunderland

Why Is Crime So High In Sunderland?

The Sunderland crime rate has been continuously rising. This, combined with the reported lack of residents feeling safe at night, is beginning to urge members of the Sunderland City Council to raise concerns. The safety survey results were labelled as “appalling” and “totally damning”. Theories have suggested the general lack of support for Northumbria Police causes the high crime rates. Since 2010, their officer numbers have dwindled, dropping by an estimated 11,000. Atop this, they have suffered a loss of £148 million in funding through budget cuts.

Others believe the cause of the Sunderland crime catastrophe is related to peer pressure, poverty, and an increased availability of guns, knives, alcohol, and illegal substances. It is also estimated that 35.4% of adolescents in Sunderland were living below the poverty line in 2021/22. Additionally, substance misuse is often linked with violent crimes, muggings, and robberies, which are three of Sunderland’s biggest criminal dilemmas.

What Has The News Reported Regarding Sunderland Crime?

A heavily intoxicated suspect was apprehended in April following their alleged theft of a leg of lamb, followed by the assault of two elderly women in his attempt to flee. Additionally, during his arrest, he grew agitated and further assaulted two female police officers as well. Fortunately, following his trial at Durham Crown Court on May 10th, 23-year-old Stephen Jack Thomas Wray was charged with two counts of assault, two counts of assaulting a police officer, and theft. Consequently, he was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison.

In another case, on April 7th, Taylor Bentham, 19, had gotten into an altercation with a victim, who had been out celebrating his birthday. After the fight, the victim offered to shake Bentham’s hand. However, rather than being civil, Bentham was heard responding with: “Watch what happens to you.” Following his comment, Bentham left the scene only to return moments later with a large mastiff-type dog – and knives. Bentham allegedly “set his dog” onto the victim, and then proceeded to stab him at least a further five times. Fortunately, the victim survived following a blood transfusion at the scene and further emergency treatment at a hospital.

Bentham was later trialled on the 14th of May, where he admitted to wounding with intent, being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, and two counts of having an offensive weapon. For his crimes, he was sentenced to 8 years and 3 months in prison, as well as an additional 4 years extended licence period. He was also banned from owning, or having custody of, a dog for 20 years.

sunderland crime rate

How Effective Are The Northumbria Police?

Sunderland is protected by the Northumbria Police. However, as previously mentioned, it has become clear that the force has been struggling against budget cuts and the loss of members. When examined by the HMICFRS (His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services), it was concluded that the force’s efforts at responding to the public require improvement. There were also minor concerns towards recording crime and tackling workforce corruption.

Fortunately, following their latest inspection, they were congratulated by Andy Cooke, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary. This was for their efforts in keeping the public safe, and reducing crime. It was noted how they had clearly prioritised prevention and deterrence, steering people away from getting involved in criminal activity. However, this does not take away from the areas in which they need to improve, as they do not promptly answer emergency calls. It was also mentioned how they need to reduce the number of non-emergency calls that are abandoned.

As things stand, Northumbria Police face a large amount of pressure from the lack of active funding. Given the increasing Sunderland crime rate, it is important to keep yourself safe. Ensure that you are practising normal safety precautions. For further tips on how to keep yourself self, visit our blog for safety tips and guides. Alternatively, you can head directly to our article for tips on how to stay safe against knife crime.

So, Why Is Crime So High In Sunderland?

In this article, we have covered the main factors that are suspected to contribute towards the Sunderland crime increase. From the poverty rates and peer pressure, to increasing accessibility towards weapons, alcohol and drugs, as well as the lack of police funding. We have also looked at some precautions on how to protect yourself against these climbing statistics.

To stay in the loop regarding the latest North East news, consider checking out our blog where you can find other articles on the Newcastle Crime Rate 2023, or the Worst Places To Live In The North East Of England.

Alternatively, you can visit our official Region Security Guarding YouTube channel to stay up to date with the latest security news, tips and tricks.

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