Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on residents to report crime concerns to police following a 5% reduction in recorded crime over the past year.
According to crime figures released by the Office of National Statistics today, Wiltshire Police recorded the lowest number of crimes committed per population nationally.
PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “I am always sceptical when I’m presented with crime statistics as I have now heard from many residents who no longer report crime concerns to the police, because they’re not confident that anything will be done about it.
“Therefore, it’s difficult to celebrate a reported reduction in crime when we don’t have the full picture, and many continue to suffer in silence.”
The Office of National Statistics has released figures for the 12 months leading up to September 2021, which shows the Force recorded an overall reduction of 5% in recorded crime.
Despite the decrease in overall crime there were still some crime types that saw an increase:
- An 8% increase in sexual offences, which includes reports of rape.
- Stalking and Harassment offences jumped by 12% after the Force changed the way in which it recorded offences and improved confidence from the public to report offences.
- Possession of weapon offences increased by 15% although recorded drug offences dropped by 23% overall.
A significant drop of 26% in residential burglary offences is unsurprising due to lockdown restrictions being in place during this time period, and people spending more time at home.
Rebuilding public confidence
Mr Wilkinson said: “I am working with the Chief Constable to rebuild public confidence in Wiltshire Police and my Police and Crime Plan, which I’ve consulted extensively on, will set the tone for the improved policing service that residents receive.
“But it will only improve if resources are allocated to meet demand and we need you to report crime concerns to ensure that we have a complete picture of criminal activity in Wiltshire and officers are deployed to where they’re most needed.
“All reports will be taken seriously, and whilst not all of them may result in immediate action, they will inform the bigger picture allowing community teams to identify patterns of concern and criminal behaviour to keep our villages, towns and city safer.
“One crime is one crime too many, and only by being on the front foot, can we make Wiltshire safer.”