GMP chief: Cutting crime AND police numbers is ‘forcing round pegs in square holes’

Recorded crime has risen by 6% in Greater Manchester over the past year, with the upward trend likely to remain due to Government cuts, according to a GMP spokesman.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics follow a worrying trend identified by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd over a year ago.

In the face of Government government cuts to the policing budget, he believes that reported crime figures could rise even further.

“Greater Manchester Police has worked extremely hard to transform itself in the face of reduced resources, and the dedication and commitment of its police officers and staff are to be highly commended,” he said.

“As these cuts continue, we will find ourselves in a position where we can no longer simply force round pegs into square holes.

“We saw the 20-year downward trend for Greater Manchester’s crime come to a juddering halt 12 months’ ago and since then crime has crept up and up.

“While analysis of recorded crime figures is complex – for example some of the increases can be attributed to improvements in the way that crime is now recorded and the work being done to encourage victims to come forward and report crimes – there can be no doubt that crime is on the rise.”

The statistics also reveal that violence has risen by 27% and sexual offences including rape have increased by 26%.

But this has been partly connected to improved quality of crime recording and work being done to encourage victims to report such crimes.

In the case of sexual offerences, it is believed that the so-called ‘Savile effect’ has made victims feel empowered to come forward as a result of hearing other victims telling their stories in court and seeing high-profile offenders being brought to justice.

Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, said: “We are now seeing a significant rise in the number of violent offences, domestic abuse and sexual offences reported to the Force.

“This is reflected in the national picture and is a sign that victims feel more confident to report these crimes to police knowing that we will take them seriously.

“You can see from the figures that the crime trend is seeing a turn towards a need to protect vulnerable people. This is a continued priority but we recognise the other areas of crime such as theft offences and burglary.

“We will continue to do all that we can to bring in those offenders who are targeting homes and individuals but home owners and the community also have their part to play. By keeping homes and valuables secure you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime.”

Image courtesy of British Security Industry via YouTube, with thanks.

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