THE GOVERNMENT needs to do more to help police forces tackle the changing nature of crime, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has argued.
PCC David Jamieson is urging politicians to help support forces deal with ‘increasingly complex crimes’ rather than focusing on sweeping cuts to police budgets.
His calls come after new figures revealed the West Midlands has seen a five per cent rise in crime in the last year, compared to 16 per cent in neighbouring Warwickshire and nine per cent nationally.
But Mr Jamieson argued the figures show crime is changing, not falling.
He said: “We are seeing a reduction in crimes like burglary, with other crimes such as sexual offences and fraud rising in prevalence.
“Many of the crimes that are increasing in prevalence need much more intensive police work and investigation than ‘traditional’ crimes such as theft or burglary.
“The Government needs to recognise that the police are dealing with increasingly complex crimes that require intensive investigative work and support police forces properly.”
Mr Jamieson’s comments come amid continued cuts to police funding.
Since 2010, West Midlands Police has had its budget slashed by more than £140 million and is set to receive £2.5 million less funding from central government this year than it did last year.
“Crime is changing not falling and police forces need to be supported properly so that they can tackle new threats,” Mr Jamieson added.
“We are modernising the force to deal with these new crimes and raising awareness to help people better protect themselves against offences such as fraud and cyber crime.
“I sincerely hope that the new Home Secretary (Amber Rudd) and Chancellor (Philip Hammond) recognise these challenges and give police forces the support they need now that it is abundantly clear that crime is not falling.”