The Office of National Statistics has today (Wednesday, 28 October) released crime statistics for forces across the UK.
Statistics for the year ending June 2020 show Merseyside Police has seen a decrease in overall crime of 0.2%. This compares with a decrease of 4.9% nationally.
The force is reporting reductions in burglary, robbery, vehicle crime and knife and firearm offences. The force has also increased the percentage of crimes it is detecting in all these areas.
Violent crimes have risen by 6.5% overall, with a 9.1 % increase in violence without injury and a 3.1% decrease in violence with injury.
In addition, knife and sharp instrument offences decreased by 7% compared with a decrease of 1% nationally, and firearm offences decreased by 6%. There was also 5 less homicides than the previous 12-month period.
Assistant Chief Constable, Ian Critchley said: “We are really pleased to be able to see continued reductions in crime areas that really matter to the public despite facing some huge challenges thrown at us all this year.’
“The overall crime rate has decreased and we have seen reductions in many areas including theft offences, robbery, vehicle crime and criminal damage and arson.
“Reports of burglary have also continued to fall, with 1,626 less offences compared with the previous 12-month period. This is down to Operation Castle, our dedicated force wide response to burglary, which has had fantastic results and seen significant reductions since it was launched in March 2018.
“We have seen an increase of 39% in drugs offences (up from 9,169 to 12,747), and an increase of 31.4% in possession of weapon offences (up from 1,085 to 1,426 Merseyside, 341 additional crimes compared to last year) which can largely be attributed to our significant investment in proactive policing, targeting serious and organised crime.
“This investment includes Operation Target, through which we have significantly increased our stop searches and warrants, resulting in the seizure of 1772 knives in the year ending June 2020, and the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP), which tackles county lines drug dealing and diverts young people away from criminality. Through the VRP, we are able to educate and protect young and vulnerable people who have been criminally exploited, helping them to forge a new life for themselves and ensuring they are treated sensitively and with understanding.
"To do this we have a hard edged approach against those who seek to groom and exploit children and vulnerable adults This is shown in our work with the NCA and the North West ROCU through Operation Venetic, which has meant we have arrested and charged many of those criminals that are instrumental in the grooming and exploitation of vulnerable people to traffic controlled drugs , and in so doing carry and use weapons. I can assure the public the work of Merseyside Police in tackling and removing the cowardly individuals who groom and exploit children for their own financial gain continues at pace.
“These forcewide investments have also contributed to the reduction of knife and firearm offences, which is a really positive result. I want to make it clear that despite these reductions, we will continue with our relentless approach to protecting the public through tackling serious and organised crime . There is still a great deal of work for us all to do in eradicating dangerous weapons from our streets and putting those that use them before the courts.
“The force has also seen a 1.5% increase in sexual offences and it is important to note that this is partly due to victims feeling increasingly confident in reporting this type of crime.
“Merseyside Police has a specialist Unity team with officers ready to support and listen to you from the moment you report a sexual offence. We also work closely with partners to ensure victims have access to an array of support throughout the investigation and beyond.
“We know how traumatic incidents such as this can be for victims and their families, but if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we are ready to listen, care, and investigate reports thoroughly.
“We recognise that behind every statistic is a victim of crime, a real person whose life may have been greatly affected, and I want to reassure our communities that if you report a crime, we will do our utmost to seek justice while treating you with respect and compassion throughout the investigative process.
“We will continue to constantly work to improve our service, while listening to the concerns of our communities and rising to the challenges of the ever-changing landscape of policing.”