A senior West Yorkshire police officer has spoken of the increased demand placed on the force after it was described as the ‘new crime capital of England and Wales’.
The West Yorkshire police force area has the highest rating in the country on the Crime Severity Score devised by the Office for National Statistics, where the type of crime is taken into account as well as the volume of offences.
Its score of 13.6 was higher than the Metropolitan Police’s score of 13.2 and 13.4 for Greater Manchester Police.
Separately, in the ONS’s quarterly report on recorded crime published last year, the force’s total of 92.3 offences per 1,000 population in the year to June was the highest in the country.
This came after a 24 per cent rise in crime, though the force says this is largely due to a change in recording practice and the actual rise was only four per cent.
The figures yesterday prompted BBC Look North to describe West Yorkshire as “the new crime capital of England and Wales”.
In response, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams of West Yorkshire Police said: “While we do sit highest in terms of crimes per 1,000 population and crime severity, the two are interlinked and this is a recent rise. We are not that dissimilar from other metropolitan forces, who face the same complex and diverse challenges that we do.”
She added: “Not only is recorded crime up, but so is the demand placed on West Yorkshire Police. In the last 12 months, we have seen an increase of around four per cent in calls for service from the public.
“Whilst some of this demand previously may have sat with other partners, we are working hard, in partnership, to ensure the best possible service is given to the public.”