Soaring crime rates show robust police force 'more vital than ever'

21 January 2016

Rise in Crime

Rising violent crime rates, murders, sex, firearm and knife offences released in shocking new figures out today show that the risk to public safety is greater than ever.

The warning comes after today’s publication of recorded crime figures show a 27% rise in violent crimes; sex crimes up overall by a staggering 36% but rapes up by 39%; an increase of 9% in offences involving knives or sharp instruments and a 4% rise in firearms crimes.

There were also 71 more murders (up to 574) in the year to September 2015, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales issued today by the Office for National Statistics. Overall, there was a 6% increase in police recorded crime.

Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Now is not the time to be taking the foot off the policing pedal. These figures show an alarming rise in recorded crime, which is what we, as a Federation, have been saying all along.

“There were 1.3 million violent incidents in England and Wales in the last year – and yet the police service is currently operating with 17,000 fewer officers than five years ago. Sexual crimes are up from 73,003 to 99,609, and even the ONS concedes that this may be the tip of the iceberg because this type of offence often goes unreported compared with other types of crime. And the survey does not even include figures for cyber-crime which we also know is one of the fastest-growing areas of crime.”

Mr White said while the police were doing everything they could to stop crime in its tracks, the threat to public safety was a concern.

“The Government promised not to impose further budget cuts in November but forces still need to implement savings that were already in the pipeline. Officers report to us that they are finding it increasingly difficult to manage with the resources they currently have.

“These crime figures are worrying – showing an upward trend in virtually all the crime areas that seriously concern the public. And they don’t even begin to reflect the other work that the police also have to do which is not recorded in the figures, including counter-terrorism, managing sex offenders in the community, preventing sexual child exploitation, missing persons searches and dealing with people with mental health issues.

“Faced with the proof that is now staring us in the face, we need to take a long hard look at what these figures are telling us and sit down with Government to ensure that policing resources are not only protected but also further enhanced through appropriate police reform. We want to work together to ensure this upwards trend in crime is reversed – greater efficiencies through reform will underpin effectiveness in getting the job done, and hopefully be reflected in crime rates nationally.”