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Violent crime up in Gravesend town centre

Violent crime in Gravesham has increased in half the borough's wards, the latest police figures reveal.

While the borough has seen an overall reduction in the number of crimes involving violence against the person, the new online crime mapping facility by Kent Police shows pockets where the number of incidents has risen - including in the town centre.

As a whole, crime in the borough has dropped by 10.3 per cent in the past 12 months.

North Kent Police say rises in the number of violent crimes are the result of pro-active policing - particularly in urban areas like the town centre.

Ch Insp Pete Ayling, violent crime portfolio holder for North Kent Police, said officers were intervening early in situations in order to prevent more serious crime from taking place, and arresting more people for public order offences, which come under the category of violence against the person.

He said: "It is an unfortunate consequence of this type of policing, and we can be a victim of our own success.

"We accept the fact we will create a crime statistic in order to prevent a worse crime being committed."

However the force has not been able to explain sudden rises in more rural areas, such as Meopham and Vigo.

Violence against the person in the town centre has seen a rise of 9.3 per cent, Riverview has rocketed by 63.6 per cent, and even the rural outpost of Meopham has seen increases in both its north and south wards of well over 10 per cent.

Eight wards have seen a fall in this type of crime, while in Chalk the figure remained the same as the previous year with 10 offences recorded.

The statistics came to light after Kent Police launched its crime mapping facility, according to Government guidelines, listing overall crime in each borough and ward in the county, as well as a breakdown of five different types of offences.

However some major crimes, such as drugs and sex offences, are not included.

Kent Police spokeswoman said this is because the Government did not require these to be shown.

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