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Police chiefs concerned about 10% increase in police-recorded crime

20 Jul 2017

Police chiefs concerned about 10% increase in police-recorded crime: 38347

Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decade – according to the Office of National Statistics. However, the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows there was a 7% reduction in crime compared to last year. 

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Criminal Justice, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said:

“The 10 per cent rise in police recorded crime causes us concern, particularly when the number of police officers is at its lowest since 1985.  It demonstrates how crime is changing with hidden crimes are coming to the fore, old crimes are being committed in new ways and truly new crimes emerging.

“Statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales appear to tell a different story with a seven per cent fall compared with last year.  This is in part explained by the two measures covering different crime types with fraud and computer misuse offences, homicide and knife crime not included in the crime survey.  The statistics tell us that people are still less likely to be a victim of crime today than decade ago.

“While we have worked hard in recent years to increase reporting of crime and to improve our recording practices, these do not fully explain the rises we are seeing today.  There are genuine rises in a range of crimes like theft, knife crime and some types of violent crime including homicide, and high numbers of people targeted by fraud and cyber offences.

“We are committed to doing all we can to bring these crimes down and forces are finding new ways to tackle knife crime, make theft harder, fight cybercrime and intervene early to prevent people turning to violence. 

“Fighting crime is core to what we do, but we need government support to stabilise our funding and to encourage key partners to do all they can to help us prevent crime.”

The workforce statistics show that whilst there continues to be a reduction in police workforce numbers, there are record numbers of women and black, Asian and ethnic minority officers.  

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Workforce, Chief Constable Giles York said:

“These figures demonstrate the difficult decisions forces are having to take with constrained budgets.  While we are seeing a further reduction in our workforce of around one per cent, it is a smaller decrease than the year before.  I am pleased that forces have managed to maintain the proportion of officers working on the frontline at 93 per cent.

“The proportion of women and black, Asian and ethnic minority officers have reached their highest ever levels, which is really positive news. There is still a long way to go to ensure that policing is truly reflective of the communities we serve but this improvement reflects the hard work that forces are putting in to attract officers and staff from underrepresented groups.”