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Rape, arson and assault reports double in Wigan in two years

Crime has risen in the borough
Crime has risen in the borough

Rape, assault and arson are among the crimes that have doubled in the borough in the past two years, alarming new figures reveal.


Shocking data recently released by the Home Office has highlighted a huge surge over the past two years in crimes such as arson, assault without injury, rape and causing public fear, alarm or distress.

Wigan police chiefs have blamed a cut in officers for the increase in certain crimes in the borough.

The Government numbers, taken from recorded crimes within Community Safety Partnership (CSP) areas, shows that these serious crimes have rocketed in just 48 months but also portray a smaller, but still significant, increase in less serious offences such as burglary, shoplifting and criminal damage.

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In 2015/16, there were 428 assaults “without injury” recorded by the force, whereas two years later that figure was just short of 900.

Similarly, two years ago there were 27 arsons not endangering life, compared to 77 in the most recent 12-month period.

Rape has increased by 100 per cent from 19 incidents in 2015/16 to 38 this year, and sexual assaults on girls over the age of 13 have risen 22 per cent from 32 to 39 reports.

Superintendent Steve Keeley of GMP’s Wigan borough said: “We understand that residents in Wigan may be concerned about the rise in recorded crime outlined in the latest Home Office crime statistics.

“This increase is in part due to an improvement in how we record crimes in compliance with the national crime recording standards as well as an increase in the confidence of victims to come forward.

“Unfortunately we have less officers than we used to and more crime to investigate and this means that we have to be tighter on where we prioritise our reduced resources.”

Supt Keeley added: “We are continuing to work with partnership agencies, local authorities and residents to tackle crime and hold those responsible to account.

“This includes the Wigan co-located partnership hub which allows us to share information and pool resources to ensure that the best people are allocated to the issue.”

A number of crime types have, including robberies, have fallen.