I am deeply concerned by today’s police recorded crime statistics which show that total crime in North Wales has increased.
Total police recorded crime on 31 March 2017 stood at 40,871, an increase of 204 since 31 December 2017. However, when you investigate the figures by crime you can see that the sharpest rise in crime has been in violent crime.
Here are just some examples of how crime has changed since December 2016:
Offence 31/12/2016 31/03/2017 Percentage Change
Homicide 7 8 14.29%
Sexual Offences 1,839 1,917 4.24%
Violence with 5,889 5,971 1.39%
Violence without 7,593 7,766 2.28%
Shoplifting 3,851 3,977 3.27%
Robbery 135 142 5.19%
Vehicle Offences 1,951 2,047 4.92%
Police officer numbers currently stand at 1,441 in North Wales, but in March 2010 they stood at 1,590. That’s a cut of 149 officers from our streets.
North Wales police have seen their budgets cut by £4,313,953 since the core grant settlement of 2010/11. In March 2010 the core grant settlement stood at £44,339,061 and that has been cut to £40,025,108 in January of this year.
The figures released today are deeply concerning. Not only is total crime rising in North Wales, but violent crime and robbery is at the heart of this increase. I have been calling on the Government to properly fund our police. Instead they have continued to cut their budgets. North Wales Police are working hard with limited resources to try and provide the security we need, but there is only so much they can do after their budgets have been slashed by over £4 million.
I was the last Labour Police Minister and I ensured that our police had the financial support they needed. Many people focus on crime, and that is right, but what you don’t see is all the other tasks the police do for our communities. As budgets are cut, and police numbers fall, the ability of our local Bobbies to deliver community engagement programmes dwindles. This is important as it is the best tool we have for preventing crime. A point that is missed by the Government.
With £1.5bn being given to Northern Ireland I want to know when we in Wales will get our fair share. We could use this investment for our police to keep our streets safe and strengthen our communities. I will be pressing the government on police funding to ensure that we get a better deal for Delyn.