16th Jan, 2019

REVEALED: Crime up by 23 per cent in Solihull

Felix Nobes 24th Nov, 2017 Updated: 24th Nov, 2017

CRIME has risen in Solihull by an alarming 23 per cent this year, new figures reveal.

Violent crime, burglary, robbery and vehicle crime have all seen a worrying surge.

There were 7,581 crimes recorded in the borough between April and September this year.

This compares with 6,180 for the corresponding period last year – a rise of 22.7 per cent.

Crime in the West Midlands, and nationally, is on the rise for the first time in years.

It comes as the number of West Midlands police officers has been cut to the lowest in the force’s history, says chief constable Dave Thompson.

A Safer Solihull Partnership report, which contains the police’s figures, states: “For year to date, total recorded crime, vehicle crime, burglary, robbery and public place violence have seen an increase.”

The report adds it “mirrors trends seen nationally”, but cuts in resources across partner agencies locally had also “challenged the control of crime figures”.

Further strain is coming from “higher demand from other high harm/vulnerability offences” – which could include domestic abuse, child abuse, and harm from drugs and alochol abuse.

Vehicle crime has seen one of the greatest rises in reported incidents (1,542, up 48 per cent from 1043 last year).

Robbery is up by two-thirds (62 per cent), to 223.

There were 936 violent incidents in public places between April and September this year, up by a third.

A report to councillors says of the data: “Historically Chelmsley Wood, St Alphege and Kingshurst and Fordbridge wards are the areas with the highest number of total recorded crime.

“Comparisons with the same period last year show that Dorridge and Hockley Heath, Knowle and Shirley West have seen the largest increases in total recorded crime in this quarter. These increases are unusual for these areas.

“The top three categories of total recorded crime are theft from motor vehicle, theft from shops and stalls and burglary residential offences.”

The data shows the increases in total crime in those areas were Dorridge & Hockley Heath 62.6 per cent, Knowle 58.9 per cent and Shirley West 49 per cent.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, David Jamieson, said: “Crime is rising and funding for police forces is down.

“West Midlands Police has faced £145 million in cuts since 2010.

“If the government values the safety of the public they need to give forces the resources they need.”

The government has claimed traditional policing in communities is not the only frontline in the fight against the changing nature of crime, including cyber crime.

Since 2010, ministers, under challenge from police officers, have claimed the government’s funding cuts could be absorbed by back-office savings.

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