Thu, 19 Oct 2017
Police forces are struggling to stem the tide of ‘genuine increases’ in crime as figures released today show rises across the board.
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics show police recorded crime was up 13% in the previous 12 twelve months with huge increases in violent crime (19 per cent), sexual offences (19%) and police recorded theft (11%).
Despite the age old adage that improved recording processes have resulted in rising crime in recent years, the experts responsible for collating the statistics have judged that there has been ‘genuine increases’.
Calum Macleod, Vice Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I can see little chance of this sorry state of affairs changing anytime soon.
“Every day officers set out to protect their communities from harm but every day their job is being made more difficult with cuts in funding and cuts in numbers but zero cuts in demand. Ultimately the public suffer, as the figures show, and their safety is compromised.”
The dangerous reality of policing is plain to see with violent crime continuing to rise, including knife crime climbing at a startling rate with a 26% increase in offences in the previous 12 months (36,998 offences compared to 29,476). Offences involving a firearm also spiked by 27% (6,696 offences compared to 5,269).
Mr Macleod said: “We know from our own research that officers suffer significantly at the hands of volatile and dangerous individuals, but these figures paint a disturbing picture of the reality they face when responding to calls for help.
“It is for that exact reason we are pushing for greater protection for officers, through our Protect The Protectors campaign, to improve access to protective equipment like body-worn video and Taser.”
Measures announced by the Home Office last week to help tackle violent crime were welcomed by the Police Federation but it made clear that any measures to assist police that depended on additional checks, training, resources or commitment in time, needed government support to be achieved, otherwise it will be little more than a paper exercise.
More worrying is the rise in crime that has previously been on a steep downward curve, namely police recorded theft which increased by 11% overall. This included a six per cent rise in burglary, 17% rise in vehicle related crime and 11% rise in theft from the person.
Mr Macleod added: “The Government need to wake up to what’s happening right in front of their eyes. Forces are trying to play their part in meeting demand but it can’t be one way traffic. More needs to be done to support them to achieve this.”
© 2017 Police Federation of England & Wales