Borough bucks trend with fall in crime rate

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Crime in Wigan has fallen for the first time in three years, latest figures reveal.

Nearly 250 fewer crimes were recorded in the borough in the 12 months to June when 21,624 were reported than in the 12 months to March when there were 21,870, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It is the first time the figure has fallen since the 12 months to September 2013 when 15,715 crimes were recorded.

The figure is still more than 1,000 more than compared to the 12 months to June 2015, when 20,350 crimes were recorded and although the number of reports for most crimes have fallen, some in the borough are still on the rise.

The number of homicides rose from three to four, while 21 more sexual offences were recorded in the 12 months to June than the 12 months to March.

Cases of criminal damage were also up from 3,792 to 3,822 and domestic burglary from 1,416 to 1,469.

All forms of theft were down as were both violence with and without injury and robbery but vehicle offences rose from 2,188 to 2,290.

Wigan bucks the trend in Greater Manchester where the majority of areas have continued to see a rise in crime. In total, the number of recorded crimes in Greater Manchester rose from 224,133 in the 12 months to March to 224,660 in the 12 months to June.

The latest figures prompted Police and Crime Commissioner and interim GM mayor Tony Lloyd to call on the government to guarantee police numbers.

He said: “People will be worried by the increase in crime particularly increases in violent and sexual offences.

“We have worked hard in Greater Manchester to transform the policing service, to ensure that we focus our resources on the crimes that cause the most harm to our people and communities and to build confidence in the service so that victims do report crime.

“But the reality is that our police are still over-stretched and under-resourced, with cuts to other public services piling on additional pressure. We need government to step up to the plate and commit to the safety of our society – not with lip service but with real action and real resources.

“Greater Manchester Police has lost more than 2,000 officers in the last six years. We look to the Chancellor to guarantee in the autumn statement that this erosion will not continue.

“By working with local authorities, health, voluntary organisations and other partner agencies we have made great strides in tackling complex issues such as domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation, bringing hope to victims, encouraging them to speak out and bringing perpetrators to justice.

“We need to continue driving this work forward, but funding uncertainties and reduced resources could potentially put the brakes on our success – that must not be allowed to happen.”

Nationally, violent crimes jumped to the highest level since the national standard for logging offences was rolled out 14 years ago. Police recorded just over a million “violence against the person” offences in the period: a 24 per cent rise on the previous year, and the highest number recorded in a 12-month period since the introduction of the national crime recording standard in April 2002.