Portsmouth MP speaks out as new figures reveal violent crime up 19%

MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has responded to today’s publication of figures from the Office of National Statistics which show a sharp rise in violent crime knife offensives.

Mr Morgan, who is sitting on the Bill Committee for the Offensive Weapons Bill as it progresses through Parliament, has said the statistics show the Government is putting lives at risk with unprecedented cuts to frontline policing.

The report shows:

• a continued rise in the number of offences involving knives or sharp instruments, with police recording 16% more offences this year compared with last year; provisional NHS data show a small proportion of these offences result in an admission to hospital with admissions for assaults involving a sharp instrument increasing by 14% for England in the last year

• the number of homicides recorded by the police showed a fourth consecutive rise, increasing by 12% compared with last year

• latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed a 17% increase in vehicle-related thefts compared with the previous year, which is consistent with rises seen in the number of such offences recorded by the police

• the number of burglary offences recorded by the police has increased by 6% compared with the previous year

• the number of robberies recorded by the police also increased by 30% in the latest year

The news comes at a time when Hampshire Constabulary has lost 1,000 police officers and £28 million from its budget.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In many ways, this further rise in violent crime isn’t the least bit surprising, but that makes it no less horrendous.

If you remove 21,000 police officers from this country’s streets then inevitably violent offences are far harder to prevent and prosecute. The Tories are putting the public, and the brave officers who serve to defend that at grave risk.

This Government has broken promises to protect our police. Portsmouth has fewer bobbies on the beat and those that remain are overworked and under-resourced.

The statistics from the ONS show just that it is more important than ever that the Offensive Weapons Bill is effective and comprehensive in helping our police forces keep knives and acid off our streets.”

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister said:

“The Tories have lost control of the fight against serious crime.”

“Rather than tackle surging crime we have a Prime Minister so overwhelmed by fighting internal battles that she was desperate to go on holiday early.”

“It is high time the Prime Minister and Home Secretary faced up to their responsibility and urgently act to put police officers back on our streets. The Tory record on crime has seen eight years of wretched failure with devastating consequences for our communities.”