Recorded Crime statistics released today have shown a rise in serious criminal offences across England and Wales, with violent crime and sexual offences both seeing big increases in the year up to September 2017. Across Avon & Somerset, there has been a huge surge in possession of weapons offences, up 34% on the previous year compared to a 26% increase nationally.
South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Communities, Cllr Claire Young, said: “These figures are truly shocking and come after years of cuts to police numbers and funding under Theresa May. When she became Home Secretary, there were 3085 full time police officers in Avon & Somerset, by 2016, there were just 2483 – a cut of over 600 officers.
“The increase in serious crime we are now seeing is the consequence of Conservative underinvestment in our police. The Home Office grant to Avon & Somerset Police has seen a real terms cut this year of £3.21million meaning that the Conservatives continue to fail our police officers and the victims of crime.”
Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesperson, Ed Davey MP, said: “Police forces are continually being asked to do more with less by Ministers, yet it is the public that are having to cope with the consequences. Amber Rudd must take these shocking crime figures to Number Ten and demand extra money from the Treasury so we can properly resource our police and start to reverse this appalling trend.”