I condemn the new recorded crime figures released today (25 January 2018) which show that crime in North Wales is at its highest point in seven years.
Total crime in North Wales has increased by 6.77% since September 2010. Going from 42,632 cases in September 2010 to 45,521 cases in September 2017. The following crimes are now at a seven year high:
• Domestic Burglary: Increased 32.70%
• Homicide: Increased 18.18%
• Crimes against society: Increased 52.33%
• Sexual Offences: Increased 288.31%
• Theft from a person: Increased 31.30%
• Violence with injury: Increased 48.56%
• Violence without injury: Increased 156.48%
Most concerning of all these figures is the 288% increase in sexual offences in North Wales since September 2010.
All of this information comes about after the Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, stated at Prime Minister’s Questions crime had fallen under this Government. These figures show that this is not the case in North Wales.
In December the draft Police Grant Report was delivered to the Houses of Parliament and it showed that North Wales Police is set to receive a proposed £147.3m in 2018/19 and will be expected to use a combination of their reserves and increases in Council Tax to pay for the shortfall. This is why North Wales police have lost 103 police officers since 2010.
When I left office as the last Police minister in the Labour Government I handed the Conservatives falling crime with a strong and well-funded police forces. In only seven years the UK Government has thrown away those achievements
They have continued to cut policing to the bone and it is now repeating what it sowed. A 288% increase in sexual offences is disastrous for our communities safety. Police have told me that they are struggling to do the job they love in keeping us safe. They have had to deal with the largest cuts in memory whilst still providing a front-line service to us.
It is clear that the cuts to neighbourhood policing is having an impact I want to see a government that supports our police and is tough on crime. For too long this Government has taken them for granted and now the crime statistics are proving what a short sighted set of policies they put in place over the last seven years.