Emma Reynolds MP

Following the latest crime statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, Emma Reynolds said:

“Last year there was a worrying level of knife crime and murders in Wolverhampton, and today’s crime statistics show a region which is still seeing rising violent crime. Officers, Police and Crime Commissioners and politicians right across the country keep telling the Government that policing needs a proper rise in resources to tackle rising crime, and these figures back that up.

“There are some shocking rises across the West Midlands Police area, with violent crime up 26 per cent, stalking and harassment up 54 per cent, and sexual offences up 20 per cent – all rises which far exceed the national rate. Burglaries are up 8 per cent locally when nationally they have fallen. The rise in thefts is four times the national rate.

“West Midlands Police has lost over 2,000 officers since 2010 – that’s a third of the force total – and has had to make huge amounts of savings through nearly 9 years of austerity. The Chief Constable Dave Thompson said recently that he is “struggling to deliver a service to the public” and “criminals know how stretched we are”, and these rises in crime demonstrate that.

“While crime is going up and the force is feeling a huge funding squeeze, somehow the West Midlands Mayor believes now is the time to reduce policing oversight to a part-time role. Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is doing a difficult job and the Government needs to help him tackle this rise in crime by delivering far more funding to increase number of police officers on our streets and help keep people safe.”