Rise in crime further proof of need for government investment

Merseyside / April 28

The Office of National Statistics, has today (Thursday 27 April) released crime statistics for forces across the UK.

Overall crime has increased in England and Wales by 9.5 per cent compared to a 5.3 per cent increase in Merseyside.

Statistics show that the force has achieved reductions in non-domestic burglary offences, vehicle offences and bicycle thefts.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Recorded crime continues to rise and while the increase has been significantly lower here than in other parts of the country, local people will still be concerned.

“Any increase in crime is worrying. However, today’s figures need to be taken in context - crime is increasing nationally as a result of years of government cuts to both the police budget and the budgets of other agencies who have a role in keeping our communities safe, such as the Youth Offending Teams, local authority crime prevention services and mental health provision.

“All forces have fewer officers, PCSOs and staff now than in 2010, yet demand has not dropped. Quite the opposite. The police service now has much greater recognition and understanding of hidden crimes, such as domestic abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation and the criminal exploitation of children by organised gangs.

"This is complemented by an increased confidence among victims to report these crimes. In addition, the demands placed on the service by emerging crimes, particularly those enabled by the internet, such as cyber-crime, fraud and grooming of vulnerable people, continues to grow at a rapid rate.

“I scrutinise the work of Merseyside Police and assess the progress they are making against the priorities I set and I am satisfied that the Force examines the threat, harm and risk to our communities more thoroughly than ever before. They are also working more efficiently; new technology and improved collaboration is making a difference and the commitment and dedication of the men and women who wear the uniform never wanes.

“Ultimately, though, we need the government to appreciate our police service as much as our communities do and provide the appropriate levels of funding to deliver the services the public expect. Without this investment our police service will be forced to continue to operate under ever-increasing strain.”