26 August 2020
The Police Federation of England and Wales has issued a warning that the public must not be lulled into a false sense of security by the huge reduction in the rate of recorded crime during the lockdown period.
Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics revealed there had been a 32 per cent reduction in total crime, excluding fraud and computer misuse, during April and May 2020 - compared with a two-month average in the pre-lockdown period.
Reacting to the news PFEW National Vice-Chair Ché Donald said: “Overall the figures appear very positive, but we must take into account businesses were shut and members of the public were largely at home for a lengthy period during lockdown. As such, shoplifting offences and other acquisitive crimes were reduced as a result, so it is only common-sense that crime is down.
“We must not be lulled into a false sense of security, as the figures will inevitably rise again. The answer to this is that we still need more officers on the streets in order to drive crime down in the longer term and to keep the public safe. The much-promised government uplift of police officers will assist with this, but it is yet to be felt by my colleagues and the public.”
Mr Donald was highly encouraged by the finding that 91 per cent of adults who responded to the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) were satisfied with their local police officers.
He added: “We have all read the recent negative media perceptions of policing, so this overwhelming vote of confidence from the public will be appreciated by our members. This reflects the amazing work done by policing during the pandemic and the respect in which they are clearly held by the majority of the public.”
Key findings were: