Invest in our police service

Merseyside / July 21

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has urged the Government to invest in our police service as new figures reveal recorded crime has risen again.

The Office of National Statistics, has today (Thursday, 21 July) released crime statistics for forces across the UK, which confirm that overall crime has increased in England and Wales by 8.8%. Merseyside has seen a 5.5% increase in recorded crime.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Recorded crime has risen over the last two years and local people will rightly be concerned. Any increase in crime is naturally very disappointing. However it should be viewed within the national picture. Crime is increasing across the country as a result of years of government cuts to both the police budget and the budgets of other agencies such as the Youth Offending Teams, local authority crime prevention services and youth services.

“I scrutinise the work of Merseyside Police at regular meetings to assess the progress they are making against the agreed policing priorities which include the requirement to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. I am reassured that the Force are tackling and preventing crime as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Force examines the threat, harm and risk to our communities more thoroughly than ever before.

“I am never complacent though and I know the new Chief Constable and his officers and staff are working really hard to keep our communities safe.

“I will also do everything I can to ensure this remains the case, including investing in neighbourhood policing and new technology, such as body worn cameras, and increasing collaboration with our partners.

“But we need the government to play its part too and I encourage the new Prime Minister and Home Secretary to recognise the importance of giving the police the money and resources they need.”

“Theresa May said yesterday that austerity means ‘living within our means’, but this disappointing rise in the number of recorded crimes is a cause for concern. I have been vigorously encouraging people to report crime and with more and more people now confident to do so we are seeing a more clear set of figures. Equally we are experiencing an increase in detection of crimes such as Child Sexual Exploitation and cybercrime demonstrating that we need more not less investment in the police service now.”

The figures released today show that despite the cuts, Merseyside Police has achieved reductions in drug offences, commercial burglary and a number of theft offences, including shoplifting and bicycle theft.

Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke, said: “We will always do what we can to prevent crime and protect communities, but we also have many other priorities including combatting anti-social behaviour, dealing with vulnerable victims and targeting organised criminals, work that isn’t always represented in crime statistics.

"Although overall crime in Merseyside has gone up, this has been less than the national average, and I am pleased to see reductions in drug offences, burglaries in commercial properties and thefts.

"There have been increases in the levels of recorded violent crime, but I would like to reassure our communities that we have looked carefully at this and don’t believe our streets are any less safe. Alongside improved recording of this type of crime in line with Home Office crime recording rules, most of the increase can be attributed to incidents where, although violence has been used, it has resulted in either a minor injury or no injury at all. Other crimes recorded as violence may also include public order offences, such as harassment, where no violence has been used.

“The increases in reporting of sexual offences mirrors a national trend. We continue to welcome the fact that more victims of these historically under-reported, hidden crimes now have more confidence and trust in the police and want to tell us what has happened to them, as it is only through them doing so that we can take action against their attackers.

"Everyone at Merseyside Police is absolutely committed to make every effort to reduce crime, while delivering an excellent policing service to the people of Merseyside.

"We continue to listen to the concerns of our communities and are advancing our fight against serious and organised crime with the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime team (MSOC). We have always stood firm in our promise to tackle these issues and this will continue.

"This is combined with the dedication of our officers, who respond to incidents with courage, courtesy and professionalism, which we hope will build upon strong public confidence to keep our communities safe. We recognise that we cannot be complacent and will continue to strive to find the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver policing in Merseyside."