Shocking figures highlight dramatic rise in violent crime across Burnley
Violent crime in Burnley has increased dramatically in the past two years according to police figures.
Data taken from the Police.UK website has revealed violent and sexual offences almost doubled across the town between 2016 and 2018.
Last year, 4,554 incidents were recorded throughout the borough compared to 2,288 in 2016 – a staggering 99% rise.
Pendle and the Ribble Valley also suffered similar rises. Violent and sexual offence in Pendle rose from 1,424 to 3,135 – an increase of 120% – while in the Ribble Valley they rose from 1,094 to 2,112 (an increase of 93%).
The category of violent crime and sexual offences cover a large number of incidents including assault, murder, rape and harassment.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said the reason behind some of these increases was down to the way crimes were now being recorded.
"Tackling violent crime is a key priority and Lancashire Police act on intelligence to stop those who commit this type of crime across the county.
"Whilst I understand the concern about rises in recorded crime following almost 10 years of austerity in policing and other public services, it's important to recognise that a large proportion of the increases shown in the latest report are not actual increases in crime, but due to changes in the way that Lancashire Constabulary record crimes and incidents.
"Improvements to crime recording practices mean we see the full picture of what is happening within the county. It also provides a true reflection of the pressures that our officers are under."
However Burnley MP Julie Cooper said nine years of austerity was finally beginning to show and extra funding was now a necessity.
“The rise in the incidences of violent crime both locally and nationally is extremely worrying," she said.
"In my view there is absolutely no doubt that there is a definite correlation between the increase in crime and the reduction in police funding. Since 2010 funding cuts have meant the loss of 800 uniformed officers in Lancashire.
"We have in Lancashire Constabulary an excellent police force and I pay tribute to them for the important job they are doing in very trying circumstances.
"I urge the Government to give them the resources they need to keep us safe.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “Having done a shift shadowing police officers in August, I’m aware of the challenge facing our police locally.
“Any rise in crime is deeply concerning and reports of violent and sexual crimes have risen since 2016. However, the most recent publicly available figures show no significant rise year-on-year, with levels falling in many parts of Pendle.
“Having lobbied Ministers on police numbers and funding, I am pleased that police numbers in Lancashire are now up significantly since 2016. This year will see Lancashire receive an extra £18.4 million in funding, allowing for further recruitment.
“The challenge now is for our Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver by using the additional resources he’s being given to start getting crime back down to the record lows we saw just a few years ago.”
Mr Grunshaw added: "Lancashire receives the most calls by population outside of London and we have seen increasing pressures on the service, in the face of a budget which has reduced by £86.8m since 2010 with a further £22m still to find by 2023.
"I am committed to making our neighbourhoods safe and support the work being done by officers around the clock to keep people safe across Lancashire."