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Violent crime rises in county

January 25, 2019 9:02 AM

Rebecca TrimnellViolent crime has risen by 16% in Gloucestershire in the past year, latest Home Office figures show.

And the number of homicides - including murder and manslaughter - rose from five incidents to seven in the 12 months to the end of September 2018.

Robbery went up by 17%, as did recorded sexual offences, according to the data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In Gloucestershire there was a 65% increase in knife crime between 2010 and 2018 with 308 offences recorded in 2017/18, compared with 187 in 2010/11.

But recorded incidents of burglary fell 16%, vehicle crime dropped by 14% and theft declined 3%.

Overall crimes recorded by Gloucestershire Police rose 2% with a total of 34,656 offences reported.

Across England and Wales there was a 7% increase in reported crime with a total of 5,723,182 offences.

Gloucester's Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Dr Rebecca Trimnell said cuts to policing in the county were partially to blame for the rise in crime and called on the police and crime commissioner to take action, including education programmes.

Dr Trimnell said: "I am deeply concerned by the increase in violent crime and knife crime across Gloucestershire.

"It's clear that society is changing and our streets are not as safe as they once were. It is too simple to say the answer is just more police officers on the beat.

"Nationally crime is at its highest in 10 years and that was before Conservative austerity cut 22,000 police officers in England and Wales.

"But it should be acknowledged there are now nearly 250 fewer officers in Gloucestershire than 10 years ago and the numbers of police community support officers has fallen by 16% since 2013.

"Neighbourhood policing has suffered in Gloucestershire but we must also focus on educating young people about not turning to crime and on offering restorative justice to rehabilitate offenders.

"I call on Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl to invest in neighbourhood policing and give his full attention to reducing violent crime across the county."

Last year Gloucestershire Police launched a campaign to recruit 120 new officers, which is only half of what has been lost in the last decade.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of Gloucester Lib Dems, added: "Martin Surl should stick to his day job of making our streets safer instead of trying to take over the fire and rescue service.

"A recent report for the county council found a merger between the police and fire service would cost £2.5 million over three years.

"That money would be far better spent on frontline services. The latest rise in crime supports this view.

"Protecting the public and fighting crime should be his priority rather than empire building."