Latest figures reveal rise in crime in Cheshire
The latest crime figures published by the Office of National Statistics which compares crime recorded between April 2016 and March 2017 with April 2017 and March 2018 show that recorded crime has risen in Cheshire by 32.9 per cent (21,593 offences).
Darren Martland, Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Although the figures show and increase in overall crime, it is important to understand the context and reasons for the increase.
“Following an inspection of crime recording, conducted by HMICFRS in February 2017, Cheshire Constabulary took steps to review our crime recording processes and ensure that we were complying with Home Office counting rules. For example, previously, disorder in a public area was recorded as anti-social behaviour but it is now it is recorded as a crime (public order) which has shown an increase of 79 per cent (7,552 offences).”
The Constabulary was recently re-inspected by HMICFRS and, although the report will not be published until the autumn, it is expected to show a significant improvement from the previous rating of ‘inadequate’.
DCC Martland added: “It is important to add that, in addition to the Increases in crime that are is believed to be attributable to the improvement in crime recording, there have been increases in other offences, which include vehicle offences (4.2 per cent), burglary (4.6 per cent) and knife related crime (12.1 per cent compared to a national 21.9 per cent rise).
“The Constabulary has recently undertaken an operation to tackle ‘county lines’ which led to 29 people were jailed for more than 180 years for dealing drugs in Cheshire. We have had an ongoing operation in Runcorn tackling those who carry knives in the town which has seen dozens of arrests and we’ve also cracked down on burglars targeting homes for family gold.
“I would also like to highlight that, whilst there have been increases in these categories of crime, they have been less than the national average and Cheshire Constabulary has some of the lowest crime rates for these offences in the country.
“Our officers and staff are committed to working with our partners to prevent crime, support victims and protect vulnerable people.”
David Keane, in his role to hold the acting chief constable to account, has invited Janette McCormick to give a public presentation to help Cheshire residents understand why there has been an increase in crime in their area.
It comes as the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show for the 12 months to March 2018, there was a 32.9 per cent increase in recorded crime in the county.
David said: “While the latest crime statistics for Cheshire don’t show as large an increase as the previous figures released in April – where we saw a 36.4 per cent increase in recorded crime in the 12 months to December 2017 – I am disappointed to see that this time around comparatively with other forces, Cheshire has seen the second highest increase in recorded crime.
“Despite this increase, I would like to reassure residents that Cheshire remains a very safe place to live.”
The increase in recorded crime in Cheshire in 2017 represents an additional 21,593 offences, taking the total number of crimes recorded across the county in this period to 87,320.
In terms of types of offences committed, violence against a person and public order offences have seen the biggest increase – although the recording of these offences has been significantly impacted by an improved crime recording process introduced by Cheshire Constabulary.
“As we know from previous ONS statistics, certain types of offences have seen a spike due to how they’re recorded in the constabulary’s new crime recording system. However, yet again, we’ve seen an increase in crime categories that we wouldn’t expect to be impacted by improvements in crime recording practices; this includes a 36.5 per cent increase in possession of weapons offences, and an increase in some burglary and vehicle offences”, added David.
“While I am pleased that the constabulary has already put in place successful campaigns to target perpetrators of these types of crimes – which we will hopefully start to see the positive impact of in future ONS releases – I would like to reassure the public that I am constantly monitoring the performance of the constabulary to ensure they are delivering the best possible police service for our communities.”
The acting chief constable’s presentation to give Cheshire residents the opportunity to understand the detail behind the latest crime statistics will be delivered at the public scrutiny board meeting at Cheshire Constabulary headquarters in Winsford on Wednesday 8 August at 10am.
“It is my role as your elected police and crime commissioner to understand the reasons we are continuing to see an increase in certain types of crimes and to ensure the acting chief constable puts in place measures to tackle all crimes and keep Cheshire a safe place to live”, David concluded.
Victims of crime in Cheshire are encouraged to report it to Cheshire Police online at https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
For crime prevention advice log onto www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/home-safety-and-security.
For advice on the support available for victims of crime visit www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/advice-and-support-for-victims.