A MAN was knifed to death in front of his young son in the ‘crime capital’ of England and Wales.
Cleveland in Yorkshire has emerged as the place Brits are most likely to be a victim of an offence, based on crimes recorded per 1,000 population.
James Stokoe, 40, was murdered in front of his four-year-old by 34-year-old Alexander Layton during a road rage row.
The killer then calmly picked up his shopping bags and walked away from the horror in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.
Meanwhile, residents of a “lawless” estate just eight miles away say they cower in their homes while gangs of thugs as young as six hurl bricks.
Locals in Enderby Gardens, Middlesbrough say one man was left with brain damage amid a string of stabbings and shootings that have made their lives a “nightmare”.
Cleveland Police recorded 114.9 crimes per 1,000 people in the year to June 2021.
That’s more than double the number recorded by neighbouring force North Yorkshire, the country’s lowest-hit area for crime, with 50.5 offences.
And there’s even more bad news for the force after Home Office figures show just 8.3 per cent of investigations concluded between April and June resulted in a charge or summons.
Some 16,539 probes were ended in that time, but only 1,376 resulted in further action.
It’s also the place where most sexual offences are recorded by the same measure, with 3.7 per 1,000 people – above Greater Manchester and Northamptonshire, both with 3.6.
A record number of rape offences – 61,158 – were reported in England and Wales in the 12 months to June 2021.
West Yorkshire was in second place for overall crime in England and Wales, with 111.6 crimes per 1,000 people.
West Yorks is also the area where Brits are most likely to become the victim of violent crime.
In September 2020, 16-month-old Star Hobson was murdered by her mum’s lover in an explosion of violence at her home in Keighley, near Bradford.
Savannah Brockhill inflicted “catastrophic” injuries on the little one, whose mother Frankie Smith was also convicted of causing or allowing her death.
West Midlands, Cleveland, Kent and Greater Manchester make up the rest of the bleak top five for violence.
Merseyside is in seventh place.
In November – after the timeframe covered by these figures – 12-year-old Ava White was stabbed to death at a Christmas lights switch-on in Liverpool city centre.
The schoolgirl was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with “catastrophic injuries”, but despite the efforts of medics, she couldn’t be saved.
Merseyside is also the area where residents’ lives are most likely to be blighted by drugs, with 8.9 offences per 1,000 people recorded.
That’s significantly higher than in London, where the Met Police recorded 5.4 crimes by the same measure, and Cleveland, where 4.2 offences were reported.
However, three forces in Wales also feature in the 10 worst-hit places for drugs crimes, with South Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Gwent all making the grim list.
Boris Johnson recently joined a crack team of detectives in Liverpool during an early-morning raid aimed at disrupting a drug dealing gang.
The PM has pledged to break up 2,000 ‘county lines’ gangs in a £300million drive to rid the UK’s streets of narcotics.
Perhaps surprisingly, London doesn’t make it into the top 10 places for crime in England and Wales, instead ranking as number 11.
That’s in spite of an alarming surge in teen stabbings in the capital in 2021.
So far, 27 youngsters have died on the city’s streets so far this calendar year, the highest toll in four years.
The mum of one victim, 14-year-old Jermaine Cools, told The Sun young people must “put their knives down”.
The murder of Sarah Everard, and the alleged murder of teacher Sabina Nessa, have thrown the Met Police’s response to violence against women into the spotlight.
Commissioner Cressida Dick admitted Sarah’s death in March had brought “shame” on the force after serving officer Wayne Couzens was handed a rare whole-life sentence.
Kent was the only southern county in the top 10 for overall crime.
On April 27 this year, PCSO Julia James was found dead with severe head injuries in woodland close to her home in Snowdown.
A 21-year-old man has been charged with her “extremely violent” alleged murder.
Along with North Yorkshire, residents of Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire, Surrey and West Mercia are the least likely to be affected by crime.
However, horrifying acts can happen in even the least likely locations – with dad Matthew ‘Tik’ Tester allegedly murdered in an M&S car park in affluent Walton-on-Thames.
A 26-year-old man is on trial accused of mowing Mr Tester down in a lovers’ spat during April.
Across both nations, the most highly-reported crime was violence against the person, with more than 1.8m offences recorded.
A total of 1.35m theft offences were recorded, with 716,521 cases of violence without injury, and 673,605 reports of stalking and harassment.
Fraud is not included within the figures.
However, according to estimates, there were 12.7million offences in the year ending June 2021, and almost nine per cent of adults have been affected.
The PM has vowed to install a named police officer in every neighbourhood in England and Wales to crack down on crime.
“What you need is somebody who understands what’s going on in your neighbourhood, who understands who the likely miscreants are, who understands whether the thing you are reporting – the crime that you are experiencing – is a one-off or part of a trend,” he said.
Under his Beating Crime Plan, more burglars, robbers and thieves would have their location monitored with electronic tags 24 hours a day after leaving prison.
It’s also been proposed that an officer will be sent to every reported burglary, while league tables will be introduced to rank how quickly forces answer 101 and 999 calls.
In addition, Mr Johnson is set to order a clampdown on prison discipline and sex offences.
He will unveil a major law and order package as part of efforts to get back to bread-and-butter politics.
The Government’s white paper on prisons will focus on improving discipline in jails.
Prison governors will be given powers to hand out fast-track punishments to convicts guilty of low level offences.
Source: The Sun