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Express & Star comment: Excuses need to stop in knife crime battle

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Over recent years we have become accustomed to seeing sets of statistics showing that crime across our region is on the increase.

A bleak picture has been painted of knife crime in the West Midlands

The latest official data shows knife crime once again hitting record levels in the West Midlands Police area, while in the year to September 2019 violent crime and robbery also both soared.

It is a bleak picture, which forms part of a deeply concerning trend that shows no sign of reversing any time soon.

But that does not mean that the public should accept rising crime as if it was somehow inevitable.

Staffordshire Police is clearly doing something right, with most areas of crime down over the same period.

On one hand, it is true to say that the county clearly has some different challenges than many of the urban centres marshalled by West Midlands Police.

Yet the efforts of crime commissioner Matthew Ellis and his senior officers in successfully managing the force’s resources deserve our praise.

On the other hand, questions still remain when it comes to West Midlands Police.

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The force has been one of the country’s hardest hit by funding cuts, and the loss of more than 2,000 officers over the last decade has certainly not helped operational matters.

Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, who is always quick to attribute his force’s struggles to a lack of resources, insists he is doing all he can to turn the tide.

Yet each time a new set of statistics comes out, the situation has deteriorated further.

Boris Johnson’s Government appears to have bitten the bullet as far as police funding is concerned, and has pledged to plough millions of pounds into West Midlands Police as well as more than 1,000 extra officers.

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The public has grown tired of hearing hollow promises from our authorities that things will get better.

Up to now, Mr Jamieson’s taxpayer-funded office has been big on excuses and short on results.

If that does not change in the coming months, the calls for the crime commissioner’s post to be scrapped will grow even louder.

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