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In the whole region crime has plummeted
NEW FIGURES released by West Midland Police today (Thursday 5 July) show that total recorded crime plummeted by over 9,500 offences to levels not seen in a generation.
Officers from across the force smashed a challenging milestone of cutting crime by five per cent with the reduction closer to an 18 per cent drop in crime.
The slump means that that people in the West Midlands are safer now then at any period over the past decade when stringent new rules about the way crimes are recorded were implemented.
This is a drop of 18.1 per cent, equates to 9,571 people - the equivalent of 95 double decker buses packed with passengers.
The biggest reductions in total recorded crime came in north Birmingham and Walsall where crime fell by over 25 per cent. Smaller but significant drops were also recorded in all other areas with Wolverhampton and south Birmingham seeing crime fall by 12 per cent - the lowest drop.
The force is attributing the lowest crime levels recorded in the West Midlands since 2002 to robust offender management, close partnership working and local people who have heeded police warnings, bolstered security and are increasingly confiding in local officers about those responsible for crime in their area.
But the force is urging people not just to take their word for it. Independent research conducted on behalf of West Midlands Police proves that local people are feeling the difference too with almost nine out of ten people (85 per cent) questioned believing that the police do a good job. And in a report out on Monday, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) confirmed that this is higher than the national figure.
The same HMIC report also went on to back the force’s continued efforts to increase the number of officers on the beat and states that by 2015, the number of so called ‘frontline’ officers here in the West Midlands will be higher than most other forces.
The move praised by the inspectorate is just one of many already being undertaken by the force to make it more responsive to the demands of policing in the 21st century while achieving significant savings.
Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson is pleased with the results his officers have achieved while radical changes are being implemented as part of the force’s re-organisation programme.
"West Midlands Police is performing extremely well,” said Dep Ch Con Thompson. "Crime is falling at a faster rate in our region than in other parts of the country. So much so, last month ensured that the West Midlands saw the lowest levels of crime ever recorded across the force area.
"June was the wettest month on record and we accept that the rain will have helped deter some offences being committed and so helped our performance, but the weather alone does not account for the steady and sustained reductions documented over the course of the last 18 months and the past decade as a whole.
"My officers and staff have achieved this phenomenal result against a backdrop of unprecedented change in policing and I thank them for their tireless dedication and professionalism during this time.”
But the results secured last month could not have been achieved by officers working in isolation stresses Dep Ch Con Thompson.
"Partnership working has been central to our success as has the public’s continued support. After all, our ability to investigate crimes, catch offenders and bring them to justice relies on local people sharing information with us.”
With the backing of partners and local people, the force has also implemented a string of innovative measures to help drive down crime.
"Initiatives such as these help demonstrate that we haven’t ‘fudged the figures’ as sceptics may claim. Our records are based on stringent, nationally agreed definitions which remain unchanged since 2002, so we are comparing like for like.”
Despite the excellent performance figures, Dep Ch Con Thompson is not complacent.
"These are genuinely encouraging results for the people of the West Midlands but there is still much more we and our partners can do to make our region safer. With the public’s help, support and valuable information, I believe we can continue to make a real difference.”
Key crime figures for each local policing unit*: