Mayor of West Yorkshire responds to latest ONS Crime Statistics
"Although the latest figures continue to be influenced by the Covid pandemic, it is welcome news that overall crime has continued to fall in West Yorkshire."
27th January 2022
Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Statistics to year ending September 2021, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:
“Although the latest figures continue to be influenced by the Covid pandemic, it is welcome news that overall crime has continued to fall in West Yorkshire.
“I am, however, concerned by and closely monitoring the increases we are experiencing in relation to sexual offences, which I know have been exacerbated by the lockdown periods, especially when it comes to domestic abuse and violence.
“Ensuring the safety of women and girls is something that I am personally committed to achieving and we must each work together in partnership to get there.
“As I promised in my manifesto pledge, it is a goal that will sit at the very heart of my first Police and Crime Plan, which is due to launch in the coming weeks.
“The reductions in burglary, robbery and vehicle offences are particularly encouraging, with greater decreases than the national average.
“I am pleased that violence with injury is down but violence against a person and offences for possession of weapons have both seen increases. These are areas we will continue to focus on.
“Operation Jemlock, set up to tackle knife crime, has successfully removed over a thousand weapons from the streets and this proactive approach may have contributed to the increase in offences seen in the data.
“It is imperative that there is continued support for this work and that of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which is tackling issues up-steam in a preventative, public health approach.
“I will continue to liaise with the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and other key partners, keeping our foot firmly on the pedal and our communities safe.”
Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) Detective Superintendent Jackie Marsh said:
“The reported increase in the possession of weapons will understandably generate a degree of apprehension, however; it is important to recognise that a significant proportion of this rise will have been driven by our proactive efforts.
“Operation Jemlock, which was set up to tackle knife crime, has removed over a thousand weapons from the streets since its inception and this will be adding to the picture.
“The fact that violence with injury is down by almost 3% over the same period shows that the combination of enforcement and early intervention is having the desired effect.
“It is, however, imperative that we continue to educate our young people about the dangers of carrying weapons.
“This is why the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and Op Jemlock recently launched the ‘At the Sharp End’ exhibition at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, highlighting the potentially life changing consequences.
“To achieve long term and sustained change, we must work together in partnership towards single vision and the VRU is in prime position to achieve this.”