Apart from the collapse in standards in British politics, the other matter that irritates most is the bleak truth about ‘wild west’ Britain, which was revealed recently in damming new official crime figures which are now horribly out of control. The number of violent street robberies reported to police rose by nearly a third last year and amid public horror over bloodshed on our streets, the number of killings jumped by 12%. The total of 701 homicides – a figure that does not include the victims of the Manchester and London Bridge terror attacks – is nearly a third higher than those recorded just 4 years earlier. And while knife crime and murder was concentrated in London and the major cities, robbery and mugging was rapidly on the rise in suburban counties and the shires, with increases of more than a third in Leicestershire Warwickshire, Hertfordshire, and of two-thirds in North Wales.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures – covering England & Wales for the year to the end of March – found that robberies soared by 30%, amid concern over a wave of moped gang snatches on city streets; burglaries recorded by police increased by 6%; recorded knife crime rose 16% and police recorded 5.5 million offences in total, a rise of 13% on the previous year. It was the fourth year in succession for rising homicides, and 4 out of 10 killings stemmed from knife attacks.
Alex Mayes, of the Victim Support charity, said: ‘It is truly shocking to see these rises in homicides and violent crime such as knife crime. While overall crime levels are generally stable, these increases in some high-harm crimes are concerning. Too many lives are being shattered by these violent crimes.’ Javed Kahn, of children’s charity Barnardo’s, said the knife crime figures make sombre reading. He added: ‘From our work with the most vulnerable children and young people, we know that the reason that they get involved in knife crime or gangs can be complex, but action to help stem the increase is vital.’
Matthew Scott, of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, acknowledged the gravity of the figures: ‘The public will be alarmed that the police-recorded crimes continue to rise, up 13% across England and Wales,’ he said. ‘Where there are genuine increases in serious violence, PCC’s will be working with their police constables to ensure effective plans are in place to tackle the underlying causes and keep communities safe. At the same time many police forces are still going through the process of amending their crime-recording practices, which makes comparisons with previous years’ data difficult when it comes to lower harm offences.’
Ministers and senior police officers maintain that the chance of becoming a victim of crime remain very low, despite the crime survey findings that 1 in 5 adults – about 9 million people – were targeted by criminals over the year. Police minister Nick Hurd said: ‘[It] is clear that the liklihood of being a victim remains low, however, every violent crime is a significant concern and the Government is taking decisive action to tackle it. We recognize that crime is changing and that police demands are becoming increasingly complex. The statistics show that there has been a societal shift towards victims reporting hidden crimes to the police and we welcome that more victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence are feeling empowered to come forward.’
The ONS report also showed wide spread computer crime including serious theft. There were nearly 50,000 cases of ‘authorized push-payments fraud’ in which victims are tricked into paying their account over to one run by a gang. On average, each individual hit by a computer money con lost 2,784 pounds and businesses typically lost 24,350 pounds. A total of 236 million pounds in computer finance scams!
This rise in crime of every nature is totally unacceptable and is likely to increase on an annual basis, unless the authorities take a grim view of this unwanted escalation of thuggery and do something fiercely punishing to stem this new threat to the well-being of the nation. This new criminal trend needs action and not empty words