Crime on the rise in Wigan

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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.


Britain opens debate on toughening corporate criminal laws

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Canary Wharf and the city are seen at sunset in London

The British government opened a long-awaited consultation on how to crack down on corporate fraud, money laundering and false accounting on Friday, in what it billed as an effort to repair public trust in businesses and improve accountability.

Government ministers floated suggestions that ranged from introducing tough, U.S.-style laws that punish companies for the crimes of their staff to holding companies accountable for failing to prevent staff from committing such crimes and merely strengthening regulatory regimes. “Corporate economic crime undermines confidence in business, distorts markets, and erodes trust,” said Justice Minister Oliver Heald. “Companies must be held to account for the criminal activity that takes place within them.

The “call for evidence” seeking views on whether further reform is needed to combat corporate criminality, after banks and other institutions have paid billions of pounds in fines for fraud and dishonest activities, will run until March 24. UK prosecutors have long argued that it is hard to prosecute companies in Britain because of high legal hurdles. In English law, a corporation is only criminally liable if senior bosses are culpable under the “identification principle”.

Initial plans to extend corporate criminal liability were shelved by former prime minister David Cameron’s government in 2015 before being reintroduced at an anti-corruption summit last May and reaffirmed by the Attorney General last September. The consultation comes after the draconian Bribery Act came into effect in 2011, under which companies with assets in the UK face unlimited fines and bosses up to 10 years in jail if they fail to show they have “adequate procedures” in place to prevent staff and agents from committing bribery across the world.

David Green, head of the UK Serious Fraud Office, has argued since his appointment in 2012 that English law is stacked against him. He says the complex hierarchies of large multinationals create an incentive for executives to distance themselves from knowledge of wrongdoing lower down. Business lobby groups, however, might latch on to the suggestion that corporate economic crime could be dealt with in the regulatory sphere. They have argued that law changes are unnecessary and add too great a compliance burden on firms attempting to navigate a future post-Brexit Britain.

According to consultancy PwC’s latest Global Economic Crime Survey, around 44 percent of UK organisations already expect an increase in compliance costs over the next two years.

 


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