The level of violent crime in St Helier ‘has not risen’

St Helier. (37518206)

POLICE and street pastors have moved to reassure Islanders that violent crime has not risen, despite a series of incidents in recent years.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Jackson said the number of crimes being reported remained “consistent”, although he noted that it was returning to pre-pandemic levels with the recovery of the night-time economy. And Street Pastors Jersey co-ordinator David Wilson has said that town is still “very safe”, despite “headline” incidents seen in recent years.

Such incidents have included stabbings – including the attack involving a large knife in the Temple Bar in Stopford Road in 2021 – but DCI Jackson stressed that serious crimes involving weapons were “focused incidents”.

On Thursday, the police appealed for witnesses to an “unprovoked” attack in which a man was said to have been followed and assaulted by a group of youths in town.

A few months earlier, a man was also assaulted and robbed close to the Millennium Town Park.

“We haven’t seen a rise in violent crime. We’re going back to pre-pandemic crime levels,” DCI Jackson explained.

“Crime levels are now consistent with rates before 2020. It’s taken a few years for the night-time economy to recover from lockdown. More people are now out and about, enjoying themselves – with that comes crime.”

According to police reports, the number of crimes attributed to the night-time economy started to show “a steady increase” in 2021, having dropped from 254 in 2019 to 160 in 2020. However, DCI Jackson said that “the whole Island is safe” and that the number of crimes reported “has remained consistent over the years”.

“We saw a decrease during pandemic, but that was an anomaly. This is life returning to normal.

“When we respond to serious crimes – where weapons are used – they are focused incidents. The people involved are known to each other. We have very few stranger-related incidents.”

He continued: “The States of Jersey Police work tirelessly with partners including the Youth Service, street pastors and taxi marshals to make sure Islanders can stay safe and enjoy themselves, wherever they are in the Island.”

Mr Wilson, who estimated that he had been on approximately 50 patrols in his time as a street pastor, said town was also “fundamentally much quieter now”, noting that there were fewer nightclubs than there were ten years ago.

Knife crime

In August last year, Nicolae Tudor was recommended for deportation after he pulled a seven-inch kitchen knife on two people at Les Ormes leisure centre.

Two teenagers – Alex Diogo Franca De Jesus (19) and 18-year-old Jayden Howard – who left a drug dealer for dead after stabbing him 23 times were sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison last June.

In December 2022, Paul Anthony Hadikin was jailed for 17 years for stabbing a fellow pub-goer in the stomach at the former Temple Bar in Stopford Road in a “brutal and calculated” revenge attack.

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