Vi­o­lent crime ev­ery 10 min­utes

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

THE West Mid­lands is in the grip of a vi­o­lent crime epi­demic – with an of­fence com­mit­ted ev­ery ten min­utes.

The num­ber of vi­o­lent crimes in the re­gion has shot up by 20 per cent just in the past 12 months, new po­lice fig­ures show.

West Mid­lands Po­lice recorded 61,124 vi­o­lent crimes in a year.

That is 167 a day, just over one ev­ery ten min­utes.

It in­cludes 42 homi­cides and also 33 deaths or se­ri­ous in­juries caused by driv­ing.

That is an in­crease from the fig­ure of 50,699 vi­o­lent crimes a year pre­vi­ously in the area served by West Mid­lands Po­lice, which in­cludes Birm­ing­ham, the Black Coun­try and Coven­try.

At the same time, the to­tal num­ber of all of­fences, in­clud­ing vi­o­lent crime, was up by ten per cent.

Labour said the fig­ures showed the ef­fect of gov­ern­ment cuts on the po­lice ser­vice. “These shock­ing crime sta­tis­tics

bring home, yet again, how the Gov­ern­ment’s cuts to the po­lice ser­vice are putting the pub­lic in dan­ger,” said Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Erd­ing­ton.

West Mid­lands Po­lice recorded 28,664 cases of vi­o­lence with in­jury and 21,127 cases of vi­o­lence with­out in­jury over 12 months.

There were 11,258 cases of stalk­ing or ha­rass­ment – but the to­tal does not in­clude a fur­ther 6,508 sex­ual of­fences over 12 months.

Polic­ing min­is­ter Nick Hurd said: “To com­bat se­ri­ous vi­o­lence our strategy ad­dresses the root causes of crime with a fo­cus on early in­ter­ven­tion and we have an­nounced a new £200 mil­lion Youth En­dow­ment Fund to sup­port young peo­ple at risk of in­volve­ment in crime.

“On top of this, we are con­sult­ing on a pub­lic health ap­proach to se­ri­ous vi­o­lence and giv­ing po­lice ex­tra pow­ers to tackle knife crime through our Of­fen­sive Weapons Bill.

“We also recog­nise the de­mand on po­lice, which is why the Home Sec­re­tary has said he will pri­ori­tise po­lice fund­ing in the Spend­ing Re­view.”

> Chief Con­sta­ble Dave Thomp­son

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