Crime falls in Wigan despite 'epidemic' warnings
Crime has fallen over the last year in Wigan, despite warnings of an “epidemic sweeping the nation”.
But the Police Federation said officers across England and Wales were struggling to “deliver the basics”, and warned the benefits of promised new recruits would not be felt for some time.
Greater Manchester recorded 28,991 offences in Wigan in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics: a decrease of four per cent compared to the previous year, when there were 30,113.
At 89 crimes per 1,000 people, that’s in line with the rate across England and Wales.
Crimes recorded in Wigan included:
849 sexual offences, a rise of three per cent;
8,915 violent offences, a rise of two per cent;
3,944 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down six per cent;
451 drug offences, up 19 per cent;
308 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 41 per cent;
3,078 public order offences, down 19 per cent; and
7,381 theft offences, down 32 per cent.
Insp John Rowson of Greater Manchester Police said: “Any reduction in overall crime is extremely welcome and is a testament to the hard work of the Districts Police and their partner agencies such as Wigan Council.
“Whilst overall figures are down, some types of crime continue to rise.
“Improvements in recording crime and continued engagement with victims can impact on the rise in numbers, but we continue to specifically target key crime types we know are on the rise as well as focusing on prevention and enforcement strategies.”
Overall, police recorded seven per cent more crime nationally in the 12 months to June, the biggest hike being in stalking and harassment, which jumped 37 per cent to 459,000.
But the ONS said improvements to reporting and recording practices by police could be behind the increase.
Responding to the national figures, Police Federation chair John Apter said: “These figures once again come as no surprise as officers continue to struggle to deal with delivering the basics in policing which is incredibly frustrating for them.
“With forces snowed under by demand, unable to answer all 999 calls in some cases, chiefs are having to make some difficult decisions over which services need to be reined back.”
There was also a seven per cent increase in incidents involving knives nationally.