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Call for fairer cops funding deal as crime figures go up.

Byline: Nick McCarthy Crime Correspondent

THE shadow policing minister has described rising West Midlands crime figures as "profoundly worrying" as he repeated his call for a fairer funding deal.

Jack Dromey, MP for Erdington, was reacting to new crime figures for the region showing sexual offences, including rape, had rocketed by 20 per cent, while violent crime was up nine per cent. The West Midlands force recorded more than 17,000 domestic abuse crimes between April 2014 and March 2015, compared to around 12,000 in 2011-12.

But the figures also show a 10 per cent fall in burglary and nine per cent fewer robberies, while overall crime has risen by one per cent.

Mr Dromey demanded fairer police funding in a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May on March 16 - but has been told the issue is a matter for the next government.

The Labour front-bencher said: "Fairer funding would have seen an extra PS43 million, but instead the Home Secretary has chosen to look after the southern Shires at the expense of the West Midlands.

"The Home Secretary has imposed the biggest cuts to police in Europe. Now a generation of progress in reducing crime is being reversed as the thin blue line is stretched ever thinner.

"In the West Midlands 1,471 officers have gone since 2010. This is the worst possible time to impose massive cuts on our police service with the challenges of protecting our national security, combatting the evil of child sexual abuse and rapidly rising banking fruad and online crime."

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: "These statistics should be a wake-up to the next government that crime is not falling, it is changing.

"They highlight a fall across the force area in many crimes such as robbery, criminal damage and drug offences, but show a rise in previously hidden sexual offences.

"Better recording, and stronger action from the police is making people more confi-dent that these crimes will be tackled.

"These statistics are also an endorsement of my call for a fairer funding settlement for the West Midlands.

"Our force receives PS43 million a year less than the government's own formula says we need. The West Midlands is losing out to lower crime areas, with less need."

West Midlands Police said the rise in sex offences had been due to the greater number of victims speaking out, triggered by high-profile cases such as Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "It's reassuring to see increased reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences.

"It shows victims have greater confidence they will be listened to by our officers, taken seriously, and their report will be investigated fully."


Labour's Jack Dromey

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 24, 2015
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