Violent and sexual crime on the rise in Dudley
More than 150 violent and sexual offences were reported across Dudley in January, new figures have revealed.
A total of 164 violent and sexual offences were reported across the borough compared to the same month in 2016 – which saw 115 reported. The increase has prompted calls for more community police officers on the streets.
Dudley councillor Susan Ridney said she believed cuts to the police were partly to blame for a rise in reports of attacks.
She said: “I think certainly crime is rising and we have to ask ourselves why.
“The answer is to have more police on the beat and stop the cutbacks to the police.
“It seems to be because there are no police patrolling and we have lost most of our community police officers which are a really deterrent.
“Instead of investing in computers in back rooms lets have some community police.”
The figures, from Home Office website police.uk, show that over the last two years reports of violent and sexual offences across Dudley have been at their highest in December 2017 – when 196 were committed.
Dudley Police Chief Inspector Gill Davenport, said: “Reported crime has increased by about 14 per cent across Dudley borough in the last year compared to the previous 12 months – that is in line with the increase we’ve seen more widely in the West Midlands and indeed nationally.
“Regards violent crime, while it makes up a very small proportion of overall crime, we understand people’s concerns and the effect it can have on communities.
“We’re working closely with schools and parents to educate around the dangers of young men carrying knives and continue to bring offenders to justice.
“The national increase in sexual offences also stands at around 14 per cent. The rise is thought to be driven by improvements in recording practices and a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes, including non-recent victims who make up more than a quarter of those reporting sexual offences.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I have been warning the Government for years that if it continues to cut police funding crime will rise. We are now seeing that happen.”
“In order to balance the books in the face of £145 million worth of cuts from government I have made huge efficiency savings at the force.”
“In regards to sexual offences, we have seen the number of crimes reported to police increase in recent years.
“In response, I have made sure the number of officers dealing with these type of crimes has more than doubled in recent years.”