The crime rate has increased across West Yorkshire, although the region’s police force argues that the rise in offending is not as stark as it first appears.
Statistics collated and released by the Government suggest that the number of offences rose by almost a quarter in the 12 months to June this year.
This increase of 24.5 per cent is the second steepest in the whole of England and Wales and well ahead of the national average – which stands at around eight per cent.
Most notably, there has been a spike in violent crime – with a 63 per cent increase in incidents of violence against the person.
Responding to the trends, West Yorkshire Police has insisted that figures have been skewed by changes to recording practices.
John Robins, the Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, said the adjustments meant that it would be dangerous to make direct comparisons between figures before and after the change.
“We are not yet in a position to provide ‘like for like’ figures and the new recording practices are still taking time to embed within the numbers we are currently reporting on.”
The Police Federation agreed that more accurate crime data had influenced the figures, although members do not believe this tells the whole story.
Nick Smart, who chairs the organisation’s West Yorkshire branch, said: “Having lost 1,200 plus West Yorkshire police officers in five years, or 20 per cent of the police workforce, an increase in crime is also partly due to less officer visibility and deterrent.”
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