The number of robberies in Surrey has risen by 32.2 percent in the past year, according to new crime statistics published today.

Of the 431 robberies reported to Surrey Police in the past year, a third involved a blade or a sharp implement and 376 related to ‘robbery of personal property’.

In a statement released today, Surrey Police wrote: “Although the volume of offences is relatively small, an area of concern is the 32.2 percent increase.

“To tackle this, officers have proactively used their stop and search powers to target those believed to be carrying an offensive weapon, leading to a 16.5 percent (83 offences) increase in possession of a weapon offences.”

The report, covering the year to September 30, 2018, also shows a 3.4 percent rise in recorded crime compared to the previous year, or 2,443 additional crimes.

Violent crime received the largest proportion of the increase with 1,926 more offences compared to the previous year.

For Surrey, 75 percent of the 29,407 violent crimes recorded are ‘without injury’ with the main increases relating to ‘assault without injury’, ‘malicious communications’ and ‘public fear, alarm or distress’.

The rate of increase in crime has substantially reduced, down from the 14 percent rise recorded in March 2018 and the 20.1 percent increase seen this time last year.

Assistant chief constable Nev Kemp said: “It’s encouraging to see that the rise in recorded crime in Surrey is beginning to stabilise and we continue to have one of the lowest crime rates in relation to our population.

“It’s important to remember that in some instances it’s good news to see a rise in reporting, for example hate crime (up 10.5 percent to 1,849 offences) and domestic abuse (up 7.3 percent to 7,532 offences), which we know have been underreported in the past.

“We’ve worked hard to increase the public’s trust and confidence in us and are now seeing greater willingness to report as a result.”