1st Mar, 2021

Covid leads to crime falling across West Mercia by 15 per cent last year

CRIME in the West Mercia Police area fell by 15 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Measured between April and December, the figures show a significant reduction in most crime types, with vehicle offences down 40 per cent, sexual offences nine per cent, and residential burglary and business and community burglary both down by more than 30 per cent.

The latter builds on a continued downward trend since 2016.

Whilst Covid-19 restrictions have undoubtedly played a part in the reduction, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has continued to contribute funding to crime prevention measures.

However, West Mercia has also seen some crime types rise, including cybercrime and bicycle theft, whilst a December crackdown on drink and drug driving contributed to drug offences increasing by 32 per cent.

Mr Campion said: “It is encouraging to see that many crime types, such as residential and business and community burglary, continue to fall significantly.

“However, it is vital that we continue to build on this positive trend.

‘It is also clear that there is work to do to tackle drug offences in West Mercia.

“I have been committed to funding initiatives that divert young people away from criminality.

“I am reassured that West Mercia Police continue to prioritise tackling drug offences, and I commend the proactive crackdown in December.”

The action comes as Mercia Police is bolstered by an additional 93 officers.

The recruits bring the total number of police across the force area to 2,164.

Since the launch of the Government’s recruitment campaign a year ago, a total of 6,620 extra officers have joined police forces across England and Wales.

It brings the number of police officers in England back closer to where they were in 2013 at 125,000, but still considerably lower than where they were in 2010 when there were 139,000 officers on the beat.

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