Crime soars across region with huge leaps in robbery and violence rates
Nearly all types of crime in West Mercia have seen a significant increase, according to the latest figures.
The latest crime figures cover the year up until September 2022 – with overall crime up by 21 per cent when compared to the previous year.
West Mercia Police Chief Superintendent Paul Moxley said that they believed some of the increase was down to the continuing return to a "more normal way of life" after the impact of successive lockdowns led to drops in a host of crimes.
Ch Supt Moxley added that proactive and successful policing also leads to an increase in the number of offences being recorded, because officers are catching more criminals.
The Dyfed Powys Police force area also saw a rise in offences, up 15 per cent on the previous year, with violent crime up by 17 per cent and sexual offences increasing by 19 per cent.
Across the West Mercia Police force area - which covers Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, violent crime was up by 19 per cent, with a total of 39,826 offences recorded.
There were 24 murders in that time, while there were 11,500 violent crimes that resulted in injury – a 23 per cent increase.
Sexual offences also rose significantly with a total of 4,045 resulting in a rise of 14 per cent.
There was a major rise in robbery offences, with a total of 674 leading to a 40 per cent increase, while theft was up by 25 per cent, with 25,797 offences recorded.
Burglary rose by nine per cent, with 4,893 instances in the year to September last year, while vehicle offences also rose by 38 per cent – a total of 4,994.
Shoplifting rose by 29 per cent,with more than 6,000 offences recorded, while public order crime was up by 46 per cent, with a total of 9,422 offences.
Criminal damage and arson were up by 12 per cent, with 9,135 offences, although drug crime was down by 20 per cent, with 1,997 offences.
Ch Supt Moxley said: "We know that during lockdown some crime types fell considerably and, as anticipated, that as people returned to a more normal way of life these figures have risen. This is not at all unique to West Mercia Police and is reflective of the situation across the UK.
“Local policing teams across the force work hard to protect people from harm and keep our communities safe with real efforts to target crime types which have the biggest impact.
“We know that rises in crimes such as sexual offences can be because more people have the confidence to come forward and report these, while rises in other crime types is often as a result of the proactive approach we take to target criminals.
“We are absolutely committed to preventing and detecting crime and will continue to do all we can to make our communities even safer.”