Funding warning as figures show rise in serious crime across Lancashire
Reports of serious crimes including assaults and sexual offences have risen by more than 25 per cent in the past year.
New figures released by the Office of National Statistics show overall crime has rise by 10 per cent in Lancashire with 102,079 incidents recorded between September 2015 and September 2016.
The increase included a sharp rise in reports of violence with injury – up 30 per cent to 14,458 – and sexual offences – up 32 per cent to 2,982.
Public order offences also increased sharply with 2,711 recorded over the 12 month period, a 37 per cent rise while there was a 14 per cent rise in reported burglaries with 12,079 logged by Lancashire Police.
Some falls were reported, most significantly in drugs offences which were down by 21 per cent to 2,311.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said the latest statistics were, in part, down to better reporting of crime.
But he was also critical of Government cuts which have put increasing pressure on police forces across the UK.
Mr Grunshaw said: “These national figures show that recorded crime is rising across the country and sadly Lancashire is no different.
“This shows increased confidence in the police with victims of traditionally under-reported crimes like sexual assaults coming forward and reporting.
“No one wants to see these figures rise and I know how hard officers work to keep crime down. However, we have seen years of austerity where police budgets have been reduced year after year alongside our partners like social care, youth services and community care.”
Mr Grunshaw believes areas such as Lancashire were more likely to suffer as a result of austerity measures and called on the Government to review police funding in light of the new figures..
He said: “Looking at areas of the country classed as ‘most like’ Lancashire the figures show a greater rise in these areas compared with the national average. There is clearly something about these areas that is having a deep impact and this has to be a wakeup call to Ministers across government.
“Recorded crime figures only represent part of the Constabulary’s workload with only around a fifth of what we actually deal with being crime-related. We also deal with many mental health-related incidents which make up around a quarter of the calls that we take. These are clear examples of the demands on modern police forces.
“My clear message to the Government is that they cannot keep taking money out of the police services in Lancashire especially as crime and none crime demand continues to rise.”