Monday, 2 December 2013

Government "complacent" over rising crime figures, claims Commisisoner

Clive Grunshaw: Government should not be
"complacent" about crime statistics
The era of falling crime could be at an end, according to leaked figures showing a “disturbing trend” of rising muggings, burglary and theft – and Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has warned things could get worse as the government continues to make funding cuts.

The Times (subscription required for full story) reports today that unpublished police data shows a sharp increase in property crime, as thieves target smartphones and tablet computers through break-ins, and snatch thefts and street muggings. There has also been a rise in shoplifting, with police forces reporting first-time arrests of people stealing basic food.

Responding to the story, Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, warned: "The police force as a whole has never had to endure cuts on this scale and, while so far we have managed to ride the changes without seeing a detrimental impact on levels of reported crime, this cannot continue.

"This Government should stop being complacent about the crime statistics and realise that there are consequences to their decisions. A tipping point is fast approaching. Crime has been at an unprecedented low but, as the cuts really start to bite, so we will start to see year-on-year increases.

"Mr Finnigan points to a rise in first-time offenders turning to shoplifting to put food on their tables. It is a fact that, while the Constabulary is facing significant financial challenges, so are Lancashire's residents – and we cannot ignore the potential impact this has on crime levels.

"This is something my office is aware of, and we are currently working hard alongside our partners to implement an Early Intervention strategy which will target Lancashire's most vulnerable residents and families and prevent them turning to crime. As Police and Crime Commissioner I remain committed to pro-active policing, rather than simply a reactive response.

"However, I have written to Theresa May personally to express my concern at the impact further police cuts could have. I do not believe now is the time for panic, but this Government needs to understand that high-performing, successful police forces need investment to maintain performance, not drastically diminishing budgets."

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