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Crime across County Durham remains level with 14% increase in sexual offences and 27% increase in violence 

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BIG falls in vehicle crime, burglaries and criminal damage over the last 12 months have helped keep recorded crime in County Durham and Darlington at a similar level as the previous year.

From 1st April 2014 to 31st March this year a total of 32,953 offences were reported to Durham Constabulary. This equates to a notional rise of just less than 1% compared to the previous 12 months, when 32,751 were recorded.

This was despite a significant number of historical sexual and physical assaults being logged as part of the ongoing Operation Seabrook investigation, the largest of its kind in the UK, which is looking into allegations of abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre.

Over the last year there were encouraging falls in the reports of theft from a motor vehicle – down 31% from 2,629 to 1,828 – burglaries, which fell by 8% (4,283 to 3,925and criminal damage and arson, which fell by 3% from 6,938 offences to 3,714)

However, there was an 14% rise in sexual offences and a27rise in reports of violence against the person, with offences in this category having gone from 5,152 to 6,536.

While the rise in sexual offences is generally regarded as a sign more victims are prepared to come forward, report the crime and seek help from the authorities, police saythe surge in this category, and also violent offences is largely due to changes in recording practices.

Last year a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into the integrity of crime recording found major variations across forces in terms of how certain offences were categorised.

Across England and Wales, police forces generally have now adopted a more rigorous approach to recording certain offences as ‘violent’ or as ‘sexual offences’ to align with the recommendations of the HMIC report.

In some other force areas this is resulting in even bigger yearly percentage rises than the 27% recorded in Durhamin violence against the person.

Dave Orford, ACC of Durham Constabulary said: “Our staff have worked extremely hard this year to ensure that people of County Durham and Darlington continue to live in one of the safest places in the country. We are so proud that we give support to our victims and also proud of the reduction in crime.”

PCC Ron Hogg said: I would like to congratulate Durham Constabulary on an excellent year despite these challenging times.  County Durham and Darlington remains as one of the safest places in the country to live, work and visit.”

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Police searching for a missing schoolgirl have found a body in a river.

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Police had launched an appeal to find 11-year-old Ursula Keogh from Halifax, who was last seen on Monday afternoon.

Although formal identification has yet to take place, her family have been told about the discovery of the body in the River Calder at Paris Gates in Halifax.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: “Inquiries will remain ongoing to determine a cause of the death, however, at this stage, it is not believed there are any suspicious circumstances.”

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Dad arrested after Mylee Billingham aged 8 stabbed to death

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Eight-year old Mylee Billingham was stabbed to death in her own home, Her father has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mylee was found with serious stab injuries and rushed to Hospital, but died a short time later.

Her father Bill Billingham aged 54 is a murder suspect in the case, he has been arrested he remains in a critical condition after attempts failed to take his own life.

Police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the murder.

He is under a police guard after he was discovered with a stab wound to his stomach and will have to undergo surgery.

Police officers responding to a domestic incident were called to a house in Brownhills near Walsall in West Mindlands at 9.15pm on Saturday.

 

Her father uploaded a photo of Mylee to his Facebook profile just before emergency services were alerted to the tragedy.

The post was captioned with the words “Pitza on bed Iv Moo x.”

The girl was pictured on her bed smiling with two plates of pizza in front of her, Moments later she was murdered.

A post-mortem examination will take place later to establish the exact cause of Mylee’s death.

West Midlands Police said Billingham is yet to be questioned by officers due to his condition.

 

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Girl aged 8 who was stabbed to death named as Mylee Billingham

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A little girl who was tragically stabbed to death has been named as 8-year-old Mylee Billingham.

Police responded to a domestic related incident near Walsall and sadly discovery Mylee seriously injured.

Despite frantic efforts by police, paramedics and doctors nothing could be done to save Mylee.

Cops immediately arrested a man aged 54 in connection with her murder.

Sadly Mylee was found with life threatening injuries at a property in Brownhills, near Walsall, on Saturday night, and died a short time later in hospital.

West Midlands Police said the man was also taken to hospital with a stab wound to the stomach.

The 54-year-old man who was arrested remains in a “critical” condition and will Be question “in due course” in relation to the murder of 8 year old Mylee.

Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with Mylee’s death.

Our thoughts are with Mylee’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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