"Rising crime shows need for re-investment in policing"
The Government must re-invest in policing to halt an increase in crime, according to the chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation.
Tiff Lynch spoke out as new figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday showed police recorded crime increased by 13 per cent in the year ending June 2017 with huge rises in violent and sexual crimes (both up by 19 per cent) and theft (11 per cent).
"Despite the claim that improved recording processes have resulted in rising crime in recent years, the experts responsible for collating the statistics have said there have been 'genuine increases' and I can't see that changing unless we see a commitment to a real investment in policing," says Tiff.
"We said right at the outset of the Government's cuts programme that a reduction in police funding and the consequent fall in police officer numbers would lead to an increase in crime. Police forces across the country are really struggling to match increased demand with reduced resources and it is the public who are suffering as more and more people fall victim to crime."
Tiff's views were echoed by Calum Macleod, vice chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who said: "The Government need to wake up to what's happening right in front of their eyes. Forces are trying to play their part in meeting demand but it can't be one way traffic. More needs to be done to support them to achieve this."
The ONS figures show knife crime has climbed at a startling rate with a 26 per cent increase in offences in the previous 12 months (36,998 offences compared to 29,476). Offences involving a firearm also spiked by 27 per cent (6,696 offences compared to 5,269).
Police officers are also increasingly being injured with a rising tide of assaults on them, and other emergency service workers.
Calum explained: "It is for that exact reason we are pushing for greater protection for officers, through our Protect The Protectors campaign, to improve access to protective equipment like body-worn video and Taser."
Measures announced by the Home Office last week to help tackle violent crime were welcomed by the Police Federation but it made clear that any measures to help police that depended on extra checks, training, resources or commitment in time, needed Government support to be achieved, otherwise it would be little more than a paper exercise.
Crime in England and Wales