Police Federation

Officer uplift needed ‘now more than ever’

17 July 2020

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

The 20,000 uplift will be vital in driving down knife crime as it yet again soars to its highest level on record, says the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

The number of offences involving a knife or sharp weapon rose by six per cent to 46,265, according to the Office for National Statistics covering the pre-lockdown period of January to the end of March.

Robbery also increased for the fifth year in a row, by six per cent (to 83,241 offences) compared with the previous year.

PFEW National Chair John Apter said: “While it is heartening to see statistics confirming some crimes are down, I have serious concerns about the rise in homicide, knife crime, and robbery. It is a tragedy knife crime continues to spiral as my colleagues are stretched to their limits, and with fewer officers on patrol it comes as no surprise.

“More than ever we need a visible deterrent to violent crime. We need more officers available to deter and prevent these kinds of crimes and ease the burden on colleagues.”

He added: “Yet again we see the effects of austerity that have necessitated this current government’s investment in funding and the 20,000-officer uplift announced last year – investment that will still only bring us back to pre-2010 levels.

“However, it will take time for the effects of this much needed investment to be felt and we can see the results in these figures.”

There was a rise of 10 per cent in homicides to 683 although this includes the 39 migrants who died in the alleged people smuggling tragedy in Grays, Essex, last October.

However, many crimes have fallen including a four per cent decrease in recorded offences involving firearms and a four per cent fall in theft.

Burglary offences recorded by the police have also continued on a long-term decline, decreasing by nine per cent.

Mr Apter concluded: “The fact some statistics have fallen despite this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of officers who police with professionalism across the country.”

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