Crime in Tower Hamlets is up 3.5% from last year, despite a London-wide reduction, Scotland Yard has reported.
The sharp rise marks the end of six years of declining crime rates in the borough, a record that had seen Tower Hamlets singled out for praise by London Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse. Violent crime, robbery and burglary all bucked long term downward trends to increase in 2010.
There were 953 more offences last year than in 2009. Incidents of rape increased dramatically by 51.9%, representing 40 more cases. Robberies and burglaries were up by 105 and 268 cases respectively.
Tower Hamlets Borough Council were unavailable for comment.
The increase in rape figures reflects a London-wide trend which saw 3,248 incidents in the capital, 647 more than in 2009.
Despite the general increase in crime, homicide rates were down in the borough, with six murders last year compared to eight in 2009.
Across London, about 80% of homicide cases have seen charges brought, with many defendants awaiting trial or already serving sentences.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London now boasts the lowest murder rate since 1978 and our targeted policing operations have led to a huge reduction in gun crime and burglary.”
Even though crime in London in general has decreased, there are still areas where serious crime prevention is needed. The Acting Commissioner Tim Goodwin said:
“Whilst I am pleased with these reductions, the Met is not complacent and challenges remain in a number of important areas of our work. Serious youth violence rose by 3.1% in 2010.
“This figure corresponds with a rise in overall knife crime for the same period, which is up by 8.3%.”