Responding to the news that one in ten knife crime offences in the West Midlands leads to a charge, Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds said:

“The public will be hugely concerned to hear that only one in 10 knife crime offences in the West Midlands leads to charges being brought.

The West Midlands is facing a knife crime epidemic. But budget cuts mean we have fewer police officers, and therefore less officer time to follow leads and investigate cases.

“West Midlands Police has lost £175m through cuts and, as a result, has lost over 2,000 police officers since 2010. Police officers in Wolverhampton tell me that one of the most important ways of preventing crime is through long-term preventative work. This requires consistent funding over a number of years. Instead the government has provided a £7.6m one-off stop gap which cannot be used on long term programmes or even hire a single officer.

“We have a Chief Constable saying he is ‘struggling to deliver a service’, and a PCC who says the force is ‘overwhelmed’ by the challenges the region is facing, as a direct result of the cuts to police numbers and budgets. The government needs to urgently address this and provide sufficient, sustainable and long term funding to the police. Their cuts cannot continue. The safety of the public is at risk.”