West Yorkshire crime at 31-year low

Re-structuring of the county's police force
Re-structuring of the county's police force

Crime in West Yorkshire is at a 31-year low, according to figures released this month.

However, West Yorkshire Police say continuing financial pressure and reducing resources mean the success of the past year will be increasingly difficult to sustain in future.

There were 1,635 fewer victims of crime in the year up to the end of March, when compared with the same period the previous year.

Reductions in house and other burglaries have been recorded with 760 fewer victims, and the number of thefts from vehicles is down by 2,743 offences. Criminal damage and theft are also down with a 27.4 per cent fall in thefts from people.

Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “Crime is now back at levels last seen in the early 1980s. This is a tremendous performance when considering the challenging financial climate we have been operating in during recent years.

“Our officers and staff continue to work hard to reduce crime and these results are testament to their efforts. However as we move forward with diminishing resources it is difficult to see how this downward trend can be sustained – in fact, we are already seeing an upturn in some crimes.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to deliver the best quality service to support the public of West Yorkshire. We are investing in the very latest technology to support the work of our frontline staff and looking to deploy all our resources in the most cost effective and efficient way.”

Changes in the way crimes are recorded and increased victim confidence to report offences has led to increases in recorded violent crime - up by 5,531 offences - mainly non-injury crimes such as verbal harassment and common assault, and sexual offences which are up by 1,353.