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Wiltshire Police Federation

Alarming Rise in Crime Due to lack of Officers

4 August 2017

CRIME in Wiltshire increased by nearly ten per cent in the last year, figures show.

Results of a recent survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that recorded crime in Wiltshire increased by nine per cent in the year to March 2017.

Wiltshire’s rate of crime is increasing slower than the national rate (ten per cent), and the figures showed a marked reduction compared to 2016, when crime increased by nearly 19 per cent (more than twice the national average of eight per cent).

He put the increase in crime down to the loss of 250 force police officers since 2010 and said: “The Police Federation has consistently warned the government that cuts will have consequences and that the reduction of twenty thousand officers nationally would lead to a rise in crime.”

Despite an overall slowing down in crime increases, Wiltshire saw spikes in vehicle offences (29 per cent increase) domestic burglary (22 per cent increase) and violent crimes against the person (19 per cent increase) compared to 2016.

Sexual offences and robbery also increased, by 13 and 12 per cent respectively.

For the second year running, the only crime category which saw a decrease in incidents recorded was drug offences, at 12 per cent less than last year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said he was “reassured” by the nine per cent increase and said “the introduction of ethical crime recording” had given Wiltshire Police a “better understanding” of crime in the county and how to respond to it.

But he said despite “continuing to highlight the increases in crime as being reflective of recording practices”, he would not become “complacent”.

Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “Clearly, having a stricter approach to recording crime means this will impact on the figures.

“It is vital that our recording practices paint a true picture of crime in the county, to enable us to allocate the right resources in the right places.”