Statistics released by the Home Office show that there has been an increase in reported crime on Merseyside.
In the 12 months to December last year (2014) the force has seen an increase of 5.2 percent in overall recorded crime. The figures also show that the force has achieved reductions in burglary, theft, criminal damage and drug offences.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It is naturally very disappointing to see this small increase in overall crime here on Merseyside.
“However, this must be viewed in light of the fact that there was a reduction in crime for seven consecutive years and crime remains at a low level in comparison to previous years. It must also be set against a context of on-going cuts to the police budget and a significant reduction in officer and staff numbers over the last few years.
“Since 2010 the Force has lost 1,373 people, officers, PCSOs and staff and this figure continues to rise. The effect of austerity cannot be overstated. The last thing people want to see is fewer police officers on our streets and less investment in policing and community safety.
“We also need to recognise that people increasingly have the confidence to speak out about crimes which historically they may have been reluctant to report, such as sexual abuse, hate crime and domestic violence. We need to continue to encourage reporting of these crimes if we are to ensure no victims are suffering in silence.
“Behind these statistics are real people, real victims, and we should never lose sight of that. The Chief Constable and I remain committed to dedicating resources to the crimes that people here on Merseyside tell us matter to them most.”
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling, said: “The force has a variety of on-going challenges and we have seen an increase in overall recorded crime in the last 12 months.
“Although the percentage increase is relatively small, any increase in crime is disappointing, particularly following many years of falling crime levels. We will continue to target our proactive resources in tackling the issues that matter to local communities, while delivering an excellent policing service to the people of Merseyside.
“We continue to listen to the concerns of our communities, and are advancing our fight against serious and organised crime with the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime team (MSOC). We have always stood firm in our promise to tackle these issues and this will continue.
“This is combined with the dedication of our officers, who respond to incidents with courage, courtesy and professionalism, which we hope will build upon strong public confidence and keep our communities safe. We recognise that we cannot be complacent and will continue to act with openness, honesty and integrity and strive to find the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver policing in Merseyside.”
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