The Office of National Statistics has today (Thursday, 26 April 2018) released crime statistics for forces across the UK.
Statistics for the year ending in December 2017, show that the force has seen an overall crime increase by 14.3% which is less than the national average of 15.3%.
Violent crimes have risen by 17% which is lower than the national average (20.5%). Compared to most similar forces across the UK, Merseyside has the second lowest rate increase for 'violence with injury'.
Sexual offences increased by 27.7% which is slightly higher than the national average of 25%.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Today’s figures are further evidence of the need for increased investment in our police service and other agencies who help to reduce crime.
“The Government’s primary responsibility is to keep its citizens safe. Yet they continue to try and deliver this vital public service on the cheap. The Home Secretary has now finally acknowledged that police resources are stretched. It is time she took real action to reverse this situation and introduce more police officers instead of cutting their numbers in major urban areas like Merseyside.
“Merseyside Police are doing the very best job they can with the resources they have. This is evidenced by two recent inspections by HMICFRS which graded the Force as ‘good’ at delivering its core business and recording crime and ‘outstanding’ at tackling serious and organised crime. But with calls for help rising and crime becoming increasingly complex it is essential that the government finally gives our police service the financial support it needs and deserves.”
Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “We aim to provide our communities with a police service that puts them at the heart of everything we do, whilst using the resources we have to give the best possible service we can.
“We’ve looked at increased levels of recorded violent crime, and I would again like to reassure our communities that we don’t believe our streets are any less safe than other areas. Most of this 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.
“Additionally, public perception and confidence in reporting sexual offences has increased significantly in recent years. We welcome the fact that victims want to tell us what has happened to them and it’s only through them doing so that we can take action against offenders.
“In regards to other crimes, we proactively investigate all burglary and robbery offences as we know these crimes cause emotional distress and harm to victims. However, it is widely recognised that as resources are reduced across the force, we must continue to prioritise and review where officers and staff are best placed to ensure an excellent policing service is had by all.
"Crime across England and Wales is a changing landscape and more modern crimes, such as Cyber Crime and Human Trafficking require specialist investigation units. Therefore, by continuing to listen to the concerns of our communities, we can effectively tackle these issues and provide safeguarding to protect vulnerable victims.
“Recently, a ‘Crime Date Integrity Inspection’ gave the force an improved rating of “Good”. We have worked hard to achieve this but we cannot become complacent and strive to find the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver policing in Merseyside for the future."