Stabbings and other violent offences up by a fifth in parts of Yorkshire, with crime rises branded 'truly shocking'

Stabbings and other violent offences up by a fifth in parts of Yorkshire, with crime rises branded 'truly shocking'.
Stabbings and other violent offences up by a fifth in parts of Yorkshire, with crime rises branded 'truly shocking'.

YORKSHIRE has seen an above-average rise in police-recorded crime, fuelled by an increase in stabbings and other violent offences.

Official figures show forces in the region recorded more than 57,000 violent offences causing injury in the year to June, a 12 per cent rise on the previous year.

In West Yorkshire, where violent crime causing injury rose by nearly a fifth, its Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson warned that the data "tells a story around the pressures and continued underfunding of policing".

He said he was using money confiscated from criminals to fund anti-violence initiatives, adding: "What has to be recognised, however, is that the continued lack of adequate Government funding is compounding the problems and making it ever more difficult to meet demand and effectively reduce crime for policing and our partners.”

Across England and Wales, police-recorded crime increased by almost a 10th, fuelled by rises in homicides, knife-related offences, robberies and theft.

The latest figures sparked fresh scrutiny of police and Government efforts to tackle serious violence and other crime types.

Labour described the ONS statistics as "truly shocking" and John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "It didn't take a crystal ball to predict these shocking increases because they only reflect what we have been telling Government for years - we need more boots on the ground."

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said the Government was taking "decisive action" in a number of areas, including by giving police extra powers to tackle knife crime through the Offensive Weapons Bill.

He said: "We also recognise the demand on police, which is why the Home Secretary has said he will prioritise police funding in the Spending Review."

While North Yorkshire remains the safest area in the country, it saw the number of violent crimes causing injury rise by a tenth and overall crime rise by nine per cent.

Its Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said the force had started improving its recording of crime, which meant they expected to see crime figures continue to rise as they went through that process.

She said: "I want to reassure residents that, in many cases, we are not seeing more crime, we are just becoming better at recording it."

In South Yorkshire, Commissioner Alan Billings welcomed falls in burglaries and bicycle thefts but said he was concerned about rises in violence, stalking and public order offences.

He said: "Those for stalking may be the result of more people willing to come forward – and that is a good thing.

“But we know that last year there was an increase in stabbings and other crimes of violence which is why South Yorkshire police, in conjunction with partners, have been working hard to put together joint strategies to tackle it."

Humberside Police recorded 12 per cent more crimes than last year, including a five per cent rise in violent offences causing injury.