The Office of National Statistics has today (Friday, 17 July) released crime statistics for forces across the UK.
Statistics for the year ending March 2020, show Merseyside Police has seen an increase in overall crime of 1.6%. Nationally there has been a 0.6% increase in overall crime levels. Merseyside Police continues to have one of the highest detection rates for crimes across the country
In Merseyside, there was a decrease of 11.9% in all burglary offences, resulting in 1,124 less offences than the same period last year. Nationally there was a 10.1% decrease in burglary across England and Wales.
Despite a national increase of 3.0%, there was an 11.2% decrease in robbery offences in Merseyside and we also saw a decrease in vehicle crime, reduced by 10.1% compared to a national decrease of 1.8%.
Assistant Chief Constable, Ian Critchley said: "Our officers and staff work tirelessly every day to ensure Merseyside Police delivers the best possible service for our communities with the resources we have available.
"It’s pleasing to see reductions in certain crime types particularly burglary, which we know is hugely impactive and distressing. This reduction is down to our focussed activity under Operation Castle where we put a real focus on those individuals who commit these crimes , whilst ensuring we work closely with local communities to prevent them occurring .
"We have analysed the increased levels of recorded violent crime and most of this can be attributed to the improved recording of crime as well as incidents where in many cases, although violence has been used, it has resulted in either a minor injury or no injury at all.
"We also put a real focus on improving our response to domestic violence where we have seen crime increases reported and we encourage anyone who has been a victim to please come forward and not suffer in silence.
"There was one more homicide than the previous 12-month-period and a 6.3% increase in all violence, in line with the national figure. Compared to the most similar forces, Merseyside saw the fifth lowest rate increase for violence with injury (an increase of 0.6%).
"Operation Target and the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) have seen Merseyside Police invest significantly into proactively tackling serious and organised crime (including knife and gun crime and county lines drug dealing).
"Operation Target has resulted in a significant increase in stop searches and warrants which means we have seen a 24.3% increase in both drug offences and people carrying offensive weapons (both higher than the national average), and we will continue to pursue those that blight our communities with drugs and the misery that they bring. This shows our continued intent to use stop search in a professional way that protects our communities by removing lethal weapons and drugs and reducing therefore the associated harm they cause
"Sexual offences have risen by 7.5% and we recognise that this can partly be attributed to victims feeling more confident in coming forward and reporting these offences.
"Merseyside Police has a specialist Unity team dedicated to fully supporting victims and investigating these offences from the moment they are reported, maximising the best possible chance of conviction and working with other agencies to support and help victims through the trauma they suffer.
"Specialist police officers work side-by-side with dedicated, expert prosecutors to ensure cases are built to the highest standard, and as swiftly as possible to minimise distress to the victims. Adult victims are offered 24/7 crisis support and are referred to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) within 24 hours. The ISVAs work with the victim from the moment the police make the referral through to the court case and beyond. In respect of children the force works closely with partner agencies (particularly Social Services), safeguarding teams within Family Crime Investigation Units and professionals within Alder Hey Hospitals Trust.
"The force also works with Changing Lives, Armistead Street Project and other local third sector organisations in the delivery of the Red Umbrella Project, with the intention of helping sex workers in our community by educating them, keeping them safe, listening to their concerns and advising them on why we may have to use our powers of arrest in certain situations.
"One of the aims of Project Red Umbrella is to improve the gathering of intelligence on those who inflict violence on women while encouraging more victims to report the offences committed against them in order to bring more offenders to justice and prevent further offences from taking place. We pursue reports of violence against sex workers and treat them as hate crime if they are targeted because of what they do
"I want to reassure our communities that we are constantly working to improve our service, target individuals involved in criminality, protect victims and encourage them to come forward, to reduce offences across Merseyside. We have continued to do this during the COVID pandemic and since the start of this financial year we have seen further reductions in crime along with increasing numbers of offenders being brought to justice in every crime type.’
"We will continue to listen to the concerns of our communities and work to keep Merseyside a safe place for all, and would ask that anyone with information on criminality comes forward to speak to us directly or passes information anonymously through Crimestoppers.
"We understand that the landscape of crime is ever-changing, with offences on the rise such as cyber-crime and criminals changing the way they operate, but through the dedication and professionalism of our officers and staff, we will always look to learn, innovate and develop where necessary, to protect the people of Merseyside, who are at the heart of everything we do."