Violent offences at all-time high as police numbers plummet

26 April 2018

Police Federation issue stark warning as latest crime statistics for England and Wales show violent crime at all-time high whilst officer numbers plummet.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has today published the latest figures from the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) and from Police Recorded Crime. The figures show that ‘high harm’ violent offences such as homicide, knife crime and gun crime have dramatically increased across the majority of forces over the last two years. Serious crimes such as stalking and harassment is also up by a shocking 33.2% and rape by 31% across England and Wales.

Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The latest figures are extremely concerning and reflect the ongoing struggle forces across the country face in their attempt to continue to keep communities safe with reduced resources and the capacity to do so effectively.

“The figures show a staggering 22% increase in offences involving knives and other sharp instruments – that’s the highest on record for seven years. Firearm offences across England and Wales are also up by an astonishing 11%.

“As shocking as these crime statistics may be they come as no real surprise to us - since 2009 the police service have lost over 21,000 officers. The majority of which come from neighbourhood and front line policing who are the eyes and ears of our communities and are instrumental in deterring but also detecting crime.

“How much is it going to take for the government to wake up and realise that the police service is in crisis. Our recent national Demand, Capacity and Welfare survey shows that officers are buckling under pressure and struggling to cope, with demand at an all-time high and morale at its lowest. The survey found that stress and poor psychological wellbeing is widespread which is no surprise when 66% of officers indicated that their workload was too high and 58% felt they did not have enough time to do their job to a standard of which they could be proud.

“Over the last year the country has witnessed a number of atrocious terrorist attacks and it is crucial now more than ever that the public have confidence in the police service - but how can they when the number of officers on our streets has plummeted to unsafe levels.”

“Cuts have consequences and these statistics are undeniable proof of this.”

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show:

·         Stalking and harassment up by 33.2%

·         Rape up by 31% and sexual offences 25%

·         Vehicle related theft has risen by 17%

·         Burglary has risen by 9%

·         Firearms offences recorded rose by 11% to 6,604