Last month the Office for National Statistics reported that, after a decade of decline, there have been real increases in levels of violent crime across the country occurring in our communities and imperilling victims.
This is nothing to do with changes in police recording practice that have also boosted this year’s figures for recorded crime.
In Portsmouth we have seen a significant increase in violent crime in the past year. Information released by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership – which brings together the police, probation, council and other local stakeholders to tackle crime and disorder in the city – has identified there has been a 49% increase in recorded violent crime overall. This compares with a national average rise of 27% in the last year, and is at the highest level since 2007/8.
Violent crime now also accounts for 45% of all recorded crime compared to 36% in 2007/8.
Concerned by these increases and the impact recent incidents is having on perceptions of safety in communities across our city, Portsmouth Labour has raised this important issue in the Council Chamber with decision-makers.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth Labour Leader asked the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Community Safety at Full Council on 15 November. He sought assurance that the administration was doing everything it could to tackle the rise in crime and address the concerns of local communities.
Cllr Morgan said:
“Urgent action is needed to tackle the significant increase in violent and overall crime in Portsmouth and build confidence in our communities that our neighbourhoods are safe. Portsmouth people deserve better.
I welcome news that the Safer Portsmouth Partnership is prioritising serious and violent crime in our great city in their strategies.
I am also meeting the local police’s Chief Superintendent Schofield with other Group Leaders next week to hear how the police are keeping on top of this issue and how we can work together to address concerns.
Public safety in Portsmouth must always remain paramount”.
Portsmouth Labour believes real increases in crime ought to be met by real increases in police resource to cope with them and not with more cuts.