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Today’s statistics show crime is increasing nationally and locally. The West Midlands Police force area has seen total recorded crime (excluding fraud) rise by 3%, compared to a 4% rise (excluding fraud) across England and Wales in the year ending December 2019, before the falls in crime related to coronavirus were recorded.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said: “These figures show that crime is continuing to rise across the country and here in the West Midlands. What we see here is that crime is changing and not falling. With more crime going online, that is much harder to record and these levels of demand, which we are likely to return to after the lockdown, being able to properly address these challenges is vital.

“In these difficult times with the coronavirus outbreak continuing to present challenges to policing and society as a whole, we need to ensure that our communities stay safe and follow the COVID-19 guidance. Our police are continuing to tackle crime but these statistics also need to be a wakeup call.

“The government needs to take note of these statistics and give forces like West Midlands Police the resources we need. These figures are testament to the need for increased long term funding for policing and crucially for services to support young people which have been devastated over recent years.

“Government cuts have meant West Midlands Police has lost more than 2,200 police officers since 2010 and seen its budget shrink by £175m. Even with the Prime Minister’s announcement of additional police officers, our force is only due to receive 1,200 officers back over the next 3 years far short of what we’ve lost.

“It is promising to see falling numbers of acquisitive crimes like burglary, theft, shoplifting and vehicle crime which is testament to the hard work of West Midlands Police officers. On vehicle crime, our intensive strategy of clamping down on the organised criminals, chop shops and their illegal dealings is producing very positive results.

“I continue to have concerns about the increase in violent crime which has risen in the West Midlands. That is why this month we have launched the Violence Reduction Unit which is allowing us to scale up our response to violence.

 “We continue to drive efficiencies, for which we have been commended by the independent inspectorate. We are cutting down on bureaucracy and giving officers the technology to do their job on the move, so they don’t have to come back to a police building unnecessarily. These efficiencies are helping officers spend more time in communities, where the public want them.

“It should also be noted that whilst good quality policing is crucial to reducing crime, other services have a big role to play to. We need to see an increase in youth services and mental health if the government are serious about tackling the root causes of crime too.

“In these difficult times, with coronavirus presenting these challenges, we need to continue to support our police force and public services by staying at home and following the guidance as set out by the government.”

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