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'Rise in violent crime no coincidence'

The national Police Federation is blaming an increase in violent crime on a reduction in officer numbers.

The remarks came after the Office for National Statistics released crime figures which showed an increase in violent crimes, including a seven per cent increase in offences involving a firearm and an 11 per cent increase in offences involving a knife.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "A continuing increase in violent crime and continuing reduction in police officer numbers is far from a coincidence.

"Knife crime has and continues to increase. Political pressure and the inability for officers to do proactive patrolling, due to reactive demands, is resulting in low levels of stop and search, something designed to help tackle this exact issue."

For the first time the figures give a full year overview of estimated fraud and computer misuse offences, 3.6 million and 2 million respectively.

Steve added: "These particular figures simply highlight the reality of the world in which we police. They reflect real crimes affecting real people, all of which need investigating by an ever reducing number of police officers.

"Increasing demand continues to take its toll. Two thirds of our members tell us they go to work despite feeling they shouldn't because of their mental wellbeing. Ultimately, without the right support from both police leaders and the Government, it's the public that will suffer."