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Crime is down in Riverside and Pontcanna, latest police figures show


SOUTH Wales Police have released their latest crime data, which reveals where crime most commonly takes place in the city.

Riverside, which is a ward the council is proposing should be split up, is more consistent in terms of criminal behaviour than many think.

The figures, made available at data.police.uk under the terms of the Open Government Licence, are released monthly. The latest show compared to December 2013, crime dropped in December last year.

The Cardiffian has broken down the data focusing specifically on one of the city’s most diverse wards, making its contents as clear as possible.

How many crimes were committed in the Riverside Electoral Division in December 2014?

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A heat map of the 128 crimes committed in Riverside ED in December 2014 (click for interactive version)


The graph and heat map above show 128 crimes were committed in the ward in December. Most common were instances of theft, burglary, shoplifting or robbery, of which there were 40. The second most common offence was anti-social behaviour, with 34 incidents. There were only four drug crimes, and a single incident where “possession of weapons” was the charge.

On the heat map, which was generated using the latitude and longtitude provided in the police date for each crime, there are two stand-out locations overall where crimes took place – the cross junction where Tudor Street meets Clare Road, and the section of Cowbridge Road East between Wyndham Crescent and Severn Road.

Where did the most crimes take place more specifically?

To make it easier to report quality statistics for smaller areas, the Office for National Statistics breaks down areas into smaller neighbourhoods.

South Wales Police’s also use these neighbourhoods, officially called LSOAs. They can hold as little as 1, 000 people and 400 households, according to the ONS.

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Riverside ED broken into Lower-layer Super Output Areas (Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.)


The graph above shows the neighbourhood with the most crime was RIV07, with 32 offences committed across December, and second was RIV02 with 29. These are predictable, as the two hotspots flagged up on the heat map above are contained in these two neighbourhoods, with the Cowbridge Road East location in the most troublesome LSOA for police.

Perhaps surprisingly, the third-highest crime rate was in RIV04, around the top of Cathedral Road in Pontcanna, which has a reputation as being quiet and affluent. The most common crime in RIV04 was anti-social behaviour, but almost all of the main types of crime featured in the data were accounted for in this neighbourhood.

The least crime was in RIV05 and RIV1, with one and six respectively. The south of the ward has a reputation for being the complete opposite of the north end, so it is positive to see little crime in LSOAs from both sides.

Where were serious crimes most common? 

There were five violent or sexual crimes RIV02 in December, which is again the area around the junction where Tudor Street meets Clare Road, and also includes Fitzhamon Embankment.

The only two robberies took place in RIV04, the area around Cathedral Road.

How does this all compare to a year ago?

The figures show in December 2013 there were 152 crimes committed in Riverside ED across December, compared to 128 in December 2014. Violent or sexual crimes also dropped from 20 to 17.

Crime also decreased in the worst LSOAs, as 36 took place in RIV02 in December 2013. It is the same story with RIV07, which is down, but only by one from the previous year. The most dramatic fall was in RIV03, which in had 31 crimes take place in December 2013, but only 15 in December 2014.

The order of the neighbourhoods, apart from RIV03, has remained consistent with regards to the amount of crimes they saw in the final month of last year.

So these figures are positive then? 

Tentatively yes, they show all kinds of crime is still being committed in the Riverside ED of the city, but these numbers have fallen from the same period of 2013.

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