Crime is going up in Wigan. Figures show that in the year to September 2016 officers received 885 more reports of offences than they did in the previous 12 months. It’s a 4.5 per cent rise from 18,781 to 19,666. The increase was reflected across the Greater Manchester Police force area as a whole where crime shot up by six per cent. And L Division – which is roughly the same as Wigan borough – remains one of the safest parts of the county. There were 62 crimes recorded per 1,000 residents in the borough: the second lowest in the force area. But with the crime still on an upward trend Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner today accused the government of abandoning local communities. Mr Lloyd said: “Ministers claim that crime is falling to justify their continued failure to properly fund policing, but that simply isn’t true – both in Greater Manchester and across the country. As crime rises, government still refuses to safeguard policing budgets. “This year Greater Manchester Police is facing a £22m shortfall, against a backdrop of increasing demand and more complex investigations. That’s on top of £180m already cut from the budget and 2,000 fewer officers. What message does this send to our communities? Local people have been abandoned by a government that has a duty to keep us and our families safe and secure.”
Violent crime, robbery and criminal damage have seen the biggest rise, with slight increases of burglary, vehicle offences, and theft reports. Figures for the last quarter of 2016, not included in this Home Office publication, show this trend continuing, with 216,493 reported crimes – an increase of 18,907. The Office of National Statistics’ new “crime severity score” has also rated GMP second in the UK for serious violent and sexual offences. Nationally, recorded crime has gone up by nine per cent, with other areas of the country facing increases, including West Midlands and South Yorkshire. “Greater Manchester is a very challenging area to police – and we are not alone. We need the resources and investment to be able to meet these challenges head on,” added Mr Lloyd.