Officer on patrol in Birmingham City Centre. Special Constable Lee Page 79999.

The number of crimes recorded by West Midlands Police has risen – but the increase is lower than the national average.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics today (20/10) show a 6% rise in the 12 months up to June this year – compared to eight per cent across England and Wales.

Reports of non-domestic burglaries have fallen by eight per cent and drug offences by two per cent.

Although violent crime has gone up by 19 per cent and possession of a weapon by 17 per cent in line with the national picture.

Domestic burglary has seen a 10% rise and there has been a 19 per cent increase in sexual offences which suggests more victims have confidence their complaint will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively.

West Midlands Police Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said: “Like almost every force we have seen a rise in reported crime but this is lower than many others across the country.

“It is reassuring more victims of sexual offences are willing to speak up – rather than suffer in silence – and help us secure justice for them.

“Police forces now face different challenges because crime is changing.  More complex crime, requiring specialist support to victims, like domestic abuse, online crime and sexual offences necessarily take longer to investigate thoroughly but we still tackle offences like burglary that can have a lasting personal impact.  In West Midlands Police we are absolutely committed to preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need”

“We are going through a period of transformation as part of the WMP2020 programme to make us more agile in tackling every kind of crime; and more accessible to the public to meet our future challenges.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “These statistics confirm what I have consistently said for some time that crime is changing and not falling.

“We are seeing crimes such as sexual offences and fraud rise in prevalence and they require much more intensive police work and investigation than ’traditional’ crimes.

“Crime is changing not falling and police forces need to be supported properly so that they can tackle new threats. I am modernising West Midlands Police and have announced plans to recruit 800 officers, 200 specialist staff and 150 PCSOs, to help fight crime and keep our communities safe.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Crime and Incident Recording Chief Constable Jeff Farrar said there are now improved recording processes and greater confidence from the public to contact police.