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Crime figures ‘wake up call’ for Government after huge rise in sexual offences

Crime figures ‘wake up call’ for Government after huge rise in sexual offences

🕔23.Apr 2015

Recorded crime across the West Midlands rose by just one per cent last year, but the overall picture masks a sharp increase in sexual offences and violence.

Across the whole region, including the West Midlands, Mercia, Warwickshire and Staffordshire forces, almost 322,000 offences were recorded in 2014 according to Home Office figures.

Theft, robbery, drug offences and all types of burglary were down significantly.

But there was a 25 per cent increase in sexual offences – an increase resulting from a greater willingness by the public to report incidents, according to the police.

Vehicle crime also increased.

The one per cent rise across the West Midlands compares with a two per cent rise in crime nationally.

Other parts of the country experienced a far higher increase in sexual offences, which were up by 56 per cent in the north-east, 42 per cent in the east of England and by 39 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber region.

While domestic burglary fell by seven per cent in the West Midlands, incidents were down by 15 per cent in the south-east and by 13 per cent in London.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson described the figures as a “wake up call for the next Government”. They were an indication that crime was not falling, but changing. Mr Jamieson said:

These statistics highlight a fall across the force area in many crimes such as robbery, criminal damage and drug offences, but show a rise in previously hidden sexual offences.

Better recording, and stronger action from the police is making people more confident that these crimes will be tackled. To meet this demand and investigate these crimes, West Midlands Police has increased its Public Protection Unit from 300 to 800 staff.

These statistics are an endorsement of my call for a fairer funding settlement for the West Midlands. Our force receives £43 million pounds a year less than the government’s own formula says we need. The West Midlands is losing out to lower crime areas, with less need.

If we are to continue to tackle crime and solve the complicated crimes of the future then the government needs to give us our fair share and invest in local policing.

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