PCC statement on the ONS Crime Statistics (20 July 2017)

Responding to the release of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime data covering year to the end of March 2017, Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Tackling crime is a key outcome in my Police and Crime Plan and a clear focus for West Yorkshire Police and our partners.

"The ONS have stated a rise of 17.9% in recorded crime in West Yorkshire, but acknowledge that improvements in crime recording practises have impacted significantly on this figure. The rate of increase is slowing month on month and in depth analysis by West Yorkshire Police puts the actual increase at 5.3% and whilst we obviously never want to see a rise, it is crucial that recording is accurate so we can fully understand the picture and the public can feel confident in reporting incidents. It's also worth noting that the figures for West Yorkshire are not dissimilar to other Metropolitan police services that face similar policing and community safety challenges.

"There's no escaping the fact that a continuing lack of funding from Government, coupled with an increase in complex and demanding crime such as cyber crime, is having a big impact with the loss of around 2000 police officers and staff since 2010. We have started to increase officer numbers In West Yorkshire through new recruitment but the Government need to do much more with regards to adequate funding and sustained resources for policing to ensure that we can continue to keep our communities safe and meet current and future demands.

"However in spite of the cuts, West Yorkshire Police continue to work extremely hard to keep are communities safe. HMIC's latest independent PEEL inspection which is an annual assessment of police forces in England and Wales, assessing their effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy rated West Yorkshire Police as good across the board. HMIC noted in particular 'The force has made good progress in protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.'

"I would always encourage any victims of crime to report it. There are a variety of online and offline methods for reporting, accessing support and keeping in touch, for more information visit West Yorkshire Police's website https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ClickB4UCall. You can also report crime anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Help for victims and witnesses can be found on my Help for Victims website www.helpforvictims.co.uk."

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