Rising crime figures show challenges faced by police

Clive Grunshaw
Clive Grunshaw
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Police bosses have vowed to keep up their battle against violent and sexual crime following a steep percentage rise in reported cases.

Violent assaults and sexual offences have risen by up to 25 per cent in some areas with Lancashire seeing an overall 11 per cent rise in crime.

Blackpool saw a 14 per cent increase in violent incidents year-on-year with 5,895 incidents reported.

Fylde saw a 25 per cent rise, to 1.092 and in Wyre the increase was 22 per cent, to 1,645 reports.

In Blackpool 690 sexual offences were reported over the same period, a 31 per cent rise.

Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said the figures illustrated the challenges facing police.

He said: “These statistics highlight the increasing levels of demand on the police as we see the number of recorded crimes continuing to rise.

“The data also shows that victims of previously ‘hidden’ crimes such as sexual assault are increasingly coming forward, which means that more victims are accessing the support available through Lancashire Victims Service, which I launched this year to support those impacted.

“The public of Lancashire can have confidence in our local force who continue to perform well in independent inspections but the resilience of police forces across the country has been eroded and remains under huge pressure in the face of growing demand.

“The Government continues to ask our officers and staff to do more with less but the continued cuts to policing are unsustainable. Austerity in policing is at odds with the growing public need which is clear to anyone reading these figures.”

Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “ Violent crimes including sexual offences are more prevalent in comparison to some traditional theft offences and whilst some of this is a positive sign that more victims feel confident to report we know that almost half of all crime is now committed in the private not public space.

“We have been working hard to provide consistent and compassionate service to victims.”