SHOCK new figures show that recorded crime has risen eight per cent in Greater Manchester.
Statistics covering the 12-month period from December 2013 to December 2014 reflect a worrying trend identified by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd 18 months ago.
He said: “In Greater Manchester we have witnessed an about face in levels of crime – in October 2013, crime was falling, but by April 2014 crime started to rise and so began a worrying trend that is continuing today. Yet despite facing increasing demand, Greater Manchester Police has seen its officer numbers decimated by a swathe of government cuts that show no sign of easing.”
In 2010 Greater Manchester Police had just over 8,000 officers. This has dropped to just under 6,500 this year as a result of cuts to funding – and hundreds more are expected to go.
Mr Lloyd added: “When faced with rising crime, the last thing people want to see is fewer police officers and decreasing investment in policing and community safety. Whoever is elected in May, I implore them to rethink these cuts and invest in the safety and wellbeing of our neighbourhoods.”
Overall recorded crime has risen eight per cent with violent crimes rising by 35 per cent and sexual offences increasing by 42 per cent.
Mr Lloyd said: “Crime recording statistics have to be carefully interpreted because for some crimes where historically victims have been reluctant to come forward – such as domestic violence, sex abuse or hate crime – we actually want to see an increase in recorded figures because it shows an increased confidence in police and people feel empowered to make a report. Improved recording practices will also explain some of the rise. But the bulk of these increases come down to one stark fact – crime is on the rise.
“Behind these statistics are real people – the victims – and we should never lose sight of that. Greater Manchester Police has done much to transform the service and target resources where they are most needed, but today’s figures show that more still needs to be done and if the projected cuts continue we will soon run out of options.”