Express & Star

Midlands crime figures reveal a worrying trend, say MPs

A drastic fall in the number of suspects charged with a crime can only damage public confidence in the police, an MP said today.

Dudley South MP Mike Wood

Just seven per cent of crimes reported to West Midlands Police in the year to March resulted in a charge, down from 17 per cent in 2015.

MPs say it is "deeply concerning" that fewer crimes are being dealt with each year.

Dudley South MP Mike Wood, whose father was a police officer, said: "We have got some fantastically dedicated and able police officers in the West Midlands.


"But it can only damage public confidence in our police if they aren't seen to be responding to crime by gathering the evidence required for successful convictions.

"That's what people pay their taxes for and that's what they expect. If that's not happening, as these figures suggest, then it's a big problem."

Pat McFadden, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: “This is a worrying trend. The public expects a decent proportion of reported crimes to come to trial, and a decent proportion of those to result in convictions.


"Very low rates of prosecution and conviction erode public confidence in the criminal justice system. I appreciate it is very tough for the police because they have been faced with deep cuts in numbers in recent years which has eroded community policing.

"But we have to try to raise the proportion of crimes reported resulting in a trial and a conviction."

David Jamieson the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands, said the force's efforts to tackle crime had been "undermined" by budget cuts.

But critics have accused him of repeatedly blaming funding issues while failing to focus on reducing crime.

Jay Singh-Sohal, the Conservative candidate for West Midlands PCC at next year's election, said: "In semi-retirement, David Jamieson sounds like an ever more seriously cracked record who simply recites the 'cuts cuts cuts' line without taking responsibility locally to deliver on the 'and crime' part of his brief.

"These worrying statistics show the West Midlands needs a fresh start to get crime down, and as PCC I will work closely with the Home Secretary and CPS to bring more criminals to justice."