West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner statement on crime statistics (20 Oct 2016)

Changes to crime recording standards and increasing demands continue to impact as the latest crime statistics are released today.

The figures show that overall recorded crime in West Yorkshire has risen but the majority of that rise is due to improved recording practices.

These figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that overall recorded crime has risen by 24% in the 12 months from July 2015 to June 2016. However the ONS has again noted that the majority of the rise is due to improved recording practices and not the actual risk of crime occurring.

Closer analysis of the crime data shows that the actual increase was around 4%.

West Yorkshire Police have been working hard to make sure their recording processes are consistent. Before the changes to recording practices, crimes were being properly investigated but weren't always recorded correctly. This work has been praised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) the independent inspection body for the police.

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"No-one wants to see a rise in crime in their community but this latest increase should be put into context given the affect crime recording changes continue to have and building a wider picture of policing demand on protecting the vulnerable.

"I will continue to scrutinise crime figures and West Yorkshire Police's performance around reducing and recording crime, which includes regular meetings with the Temporary Chief Constable and regular public engagement to ensure that the people of West Yorkshire are safe and feel safe.

"West Yorkshire Police are noted as having a large increase in levels of public order offences which is largely due to improved recording. Similarly the levels of recorded violence against the person have increased however this is in line with the national trend. This is partly due to the additional harassment offences now being included as violent crimes, improvements in crime-recording and increased confidence of victims to report offences to the police.

"The statistics released today give an overview but are not fully reflective of the difficult work West Yorkshire Police carry out on a day to day basis keeping our communities safe. We are seeing a rise in complex and demanding cases involving safeguarding vulnerable people and this important daily work is not fully reflected in these figures. I also continue to work with West Yorkshire Police and many others to raise awareness on issues such as Hate Crime, Cyber Crime and Child Sexual Abuse in encouraging victims to report such crimes.

"The effect of staggering Government budget cuts to policing and wider public services have also been well documented the impacts of which are all too clear. In the face of these cuts I have set a budget this year to allow the recruitment of 600 police officers and protect PCSO numbers, with the latest round of PCSO recruitment closing this Sunday. Some of these new officers and staff are already on our streets helping to keep us safe, but it will take time to rebuild the numbers in the face of losing 2000 officers and staff since 2010.

"I have also funded local groups and charities through my Safer Communities Fund who make a real difference preventing and reducing crime in their communities. The fund returns money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and so far over £1.3million has been given to over 300 organisations throughout the County.

"Anyone that has been a victim of crime or feels like that may have been a victim should always come forward and report it to the police or anonymously through Crimestoppers if they prefer. Reports will be taken seriously and appropriate support will be put in place for any victims. Crimes and incidents can be reported to West Yorkshire Police in a number of ways, visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ClickB4UCall to find out more. Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or for more information visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org. In West Yorkshire, victims will always come first."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019