CRIME in Warwickshire has rocketed.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show a rise of 24 per cent across the county, representing an increase from just over 32,000 to just over 39,600 recorded crimes, in the 12 months to June this year.
Possession of weapon offences soared by 68 per cent, from 200 to 340, followed by sexual offences at 41 per cent, representing an increase from 1,050 to 1,485 cases.
Other crime increases included burglary at 39 per cent (3,905 cases), robbery at 35 per cent (313), vehicle offences 50 per cent (4,518), public order offences at 61 per cent (2,052), and violence at 31 per cent (11,502).
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said the increase was partly down to improvements to police recording practices.
He added: “There is little doubt there have also been genuine rises in some categories of crime. Some of this is welcome – such as increased reporting of hate crime – but rises in other types of crime such as burglary and violence offences are more concerning. Combined with an expanding population, increases in recorded crime mean that officers are dealing with increased workloads against a backdrop of reducing resources.
“In the last 12 months I have made significant investments in advanced technology to support frontline policing, which are helping to reduce bureaucracy and free up more officer time to focus on detecting crime and supporting victims. Warwickshire Police is also continuing with its major programme of modernisation to ensure that it focuses its efforts on tackling the offences which cause significant harm to our communities and to individuals.
“In the meantime, I am continuing to argue the case with government that there needs to be increased investment in policing and I will continue to hold the chief constable to account to ensure that our policing resources are used to the best possible effect.”
He also referred to the pressures on police nationally.
Nearly 140 police officers have been lost from the Warwickshire force since 2010. There are currently 1,071 officers in Warwickshire, supported by 103 PSCOs, though the figure could fall further with plans to fund pay rises from existing budgets.