The downward trend in crime continues in West Yorkshire, latest crime statistics published today reveal.
And while the Office for National Statistics reports a 0.5 per cent rise in total crime in the county for 2019, when compared with the previous year, the very latest data available to the Force up to the end of March this year shows a reduction of 2.8 per cent – around 8,100 fewer crime victims.
Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “We are working extremely hard to reduce crime in West Yorkshire. I am extremely proud of the achievements of frontline police officers and staff who are working tirelessly to reduce crime, protect victims and help the vulnerable across West Yorkshire.
“Even prior to the current pandemic, we were seeing significant reductions in some of the key crime areas that most affect communities, such as burglary, robbery and violent crime. We have also had some impressive results in our continued fight against knife crime: as part of Operation Jemlock we have arrested more than 2,400 people and removed more than 158 weapons from our streets. This has helped reduce knife related crime by 10.1% since last year; that is 268 fewer victims.
“This is all in a context of continued hard work to ensure we record offences accurately. This means we are able to properly understand demand and manage our resources effectively. It also means our communities can be confident they have a true picture of crime in their area.
West Yorkshire Police was the first metropolitan force within England and Wales to be graded as ‘Outstanding’ for its crime data integrity. Additionally it is the only metropolitan force and one of only two forces in England and Wales to be graded as “Outstanding” for its efficiency. These are the independent conclusions of inspections in 2018 and 2019 by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS).
Mr Robins said: “The nature of demand on West Yorkshire Police is ever changing as crime becomes more complex and criminality evolves, but never have those challenges been so evident as we all join together to tackle the current Coronavirus pandemic.
“We are working hard to keep the public safe, supporting the NHS and care system and still continuing to provide all the essential services the public expect from us.
“We are pleased and grateful for the support shown by our local communities, the vast majority of whom are heeding the advice and guidance. We understand their concerns during these difficult times, but they can be reassured we are doing everything we can to ensure their safety.
“I am particularly concerned that the current situation may make some people more vulnerable to such crimes as domestic violence, coercive behaviour, online abuse and exploitation through to crimes such as fraud. I want to be very clear that these types of crime are a priority for us and we will continue to provide support and respond robustly in every way we can.
“During this busy time for policing, the public can continue to help us manage our demand by thinking carefully before they call either 999 or the 101 non-emergency number, so that we can help those who are facing an emergency situation get the help they so urgently need quickly. The use of our online internet and app-based service, to report crimes or get advice, will reduce call volumes and help us manage demand.”