OVERALL crime has continued to fall in West Mercia, bucking the national trend, according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics.
The figures show an overall one per cent decline in overall reported crime, as well as decreases in areas such as violence with injury, sexual offences, theft, burglary, vehicle offences, bicycle theft, criminal damage, drug offences and public order.
Whilst there have been slight increases in areas such as violence against the person, robbery, possession of weapons and computer misuse, these increases are at a lower rate than the national level.
West Mercia has also seen an increase in knife offences, however the volume of these offences continues to be low when compared to the rest of the country.
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “This is again positive and reassuring news for our communities who want to be safe and feel safe. I will continue to ensure West Mercia Police are well resourced to tackle emerging crime types.
“Whether it be through the funding of diversionary schemes to help young people defer from involvement in crime, or investment in Smartwater and Rural and Business Officers who can help to tackle issues around shoplifting and theft, I am committed to ensuring our communities can continue to live safely.
“Whilst we must not be complacent about the figures, I am pleased that they reflect that the overall approach is working.”
He added that work would continue within the force to address shoplifting and theft where increases have been seen.
The ONS compares total recorded crime for the year ending December 2018 to the previous year.
In West Mercia the following areas have seen decreases in recorded crime:
Violence with injury: Down 7 per cent (7 per cent increase nationally)
Sexual offences: Down 3 per cent (10 per cent increase nationally)
All Theft: Up 2 per cent (1 per cent decrease nationally)
Burglary: Down 7 per cent (3 per cent decrease nationally)
Vehicle Offences: Down 10 per cent (2% increase nationally)
Bicycle theft: Down 7 per cent (6 per cent decrease nationally)
Other theft: Down 2 per cent (2 per cent increase nationally)
Criminal damage and arson : Down 6 per cent (4 per cent decrease nationally)
Drug offences: Down 12 per cent (7 per cent increase nationally)
Public Order: Down 10 per cent (19 per cent increase nationally)
Miscellaneous crimes: Down 12 per cent (11 per cent increase nationally)
In the year ending December 2019, there were 495 offences involving a knife in West Mercia, equating to 4 per cent of offences. The national average is 6 per cent.