Merseyside’s crime rate has risen sharply, new figures have suggested.
Official statistics show that reports of criminal damage and violent crimes in particular are on the rise, with anti social behaviour remaining the most reported crime. Reports of sexual offences have also seen an increase of 26.4%.
Despite Liverpool’s crime rate being on a steady decline since 2011, over 100,000 crimes were reported to Merseyside Police last year, meaning a sharp increase. 1265 crimes were reported just last month, with the majority of crimes taking place in Liverpool city centre. As a result, Merseyside’s 101 line has been leaving more and more people on hold as they deal with the surge of callers.
Liverpool’s drug rate is also higher compared to similar areas in the UK.
Many critics attribute the high level of antisocial behaviour to Liverpool’s nightlife culture the rise in sexual offence reports could also be explained by victims feeling safer in coming forward with their experiences.
However, Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, blames the increase on the “savage” government cuts which have resulted in more than 1,000 fewer officers on the streets of Merseyside since 2009. Merseyside residents have been quick to voice their opinions on social media, with several agreeing with Kennedy.
Despite this, a recent official PEEL assessment – which measures police force’s efficiency, effectiveness, and legitimacy – described Merseyside Police’s efficiency and legitimacy as “good”. However, the force’s effectiveness – which is the extent to which people are kept safe and crime is reduced- has not yet been graded for 2017.