Stats show crime down but sex offences are up

Crime has fallen faster in our region than nationally, according to the latest figures.
POSITIVE OUTCOME Chief Constable Mark Gilmore.POSITIVE OUTCOME Chief Constable Mark Gilmore.
POSITIVE OUTCOME Chief Constable Mark Gilmore.

But the number of sexual offences reported in the 12 months leading to September 2013 was up 65 per cent.

West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable, Mark Gilmore, said high profile historic sexual offence cases had been a factor in more victims coming forward.

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He said: “This is a positive outcome for all, meaning many vulnerable victims can now receive the full support and justice outcome they so deserve.”

He said other factors were the significant investment to help its Information Management Department understand the nature of sexual offending and the Know the Signs campaign led by West Yorkshire Police to encourage young victims to speak up.

The Office of National Statistics figures revealed there were 6,152 fewer victims of crime in West Yorkshire in the year up to September 2013.

They showed crime fell by four per cent in the county compared to three per cent across England and Wales.

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Mr Gilmore said: “I am pleased that overall crime continues to fall significantly throughout West Yorkshire, with greater reductions than the national average.

“Colleagues, partners and communities have worked hard together to achieve these results.”

The biggest falls recorded were for robbery and drug offences, which both dropped by 13 per cent.

Burglary also fell by 12 per cent, with 1,727 fewer offences reported.

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After sexual offences, the biggest increase was in shoplifting – up 12 per cent.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “The drop in crime is good news, but we can’t maintain this because the way the funding formula works at the moment means we will suffer if the cuts are passed onto policing.”

He said police would have to work smarter to cope with cuts of £152m in 2016/17.