Crime up after cuts - police chief
The loss of hundreds of police officers in Lancashire has contributed to an increase in crime, a senior police officer has said,
Acting Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary Chris Weigh said Government-imposed public sector cuts were a factor in a rise in particular offences, although crime as a whole remained "historically low" in the county.
He told a Lancashire Police Authority meeting that violent crime with injury, house burglaries and vehicle crime had all increased in April this year compared to the same month last year.
Violent crime with injury was up 5.8%, house burglaries rose by 8.4% and vehicle crime was 6.4% higher.
Overall crime was down 5%, against a background of a total 34% reduction in overall crime in Lancashire in the last eight years.
The Lancashire Evening Post reported that Mr Weigh said: "We are taking 513 police officers off the streets. Targeting capabilities have been hit.
"Operation Julius (an anti-burglary initiative) was designed to tackle burglary spikes last year. How much longer can you continue to deploy Julius-type operations when resources are falling?"
He continued: "There is a genuine, real increase in offending. There is no doubt the courts are behaving differently. There is evidence that people are struggling to get people remanded in custody, and there are some new crime types emerging."
Responding to the comments, shadow policing minister David Hanson said: "It is truly shocking senior police officers are saying that this Government is causing crime to rise.
"This is the latest in a long line of senior police officers warning of increases in crime due to the rapid and deep 20% cuts to the police. Theresa May and David Cameron were warned they were taking a massive risk with public safety and now we are seeing the results."