Government has to commit to long-term investment in policing

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones says the Government must commit to long-term investment in policing to tackle rising crime rates.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed crime in the Force area had risen by 19 per cent in the 12 months to June.

The figure is higher than the national average, with police recorded crime in England and Wales rising by 13 per cent on the previous year. Crime in Wales rose by 13 per cent.

The ONS figures showed that in Dyfed Powys knife crime rose by 28 per cent, sexual offences rose by 27 per cent, and violence against the person was up by 22 per cent. Robbery rose by 27 per cent, theft offences rose by 16 per cent and criminal damage and arson by 20 per cent.

Burglary, however, fell by four per cent with residential burglary down by six per cent and non-residential burglary falling by two per cent. Drug offences also fell, this time by 19 per cent, and vehicle offences were down by six per cent.

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones.

Gareth said: “It’s extremely disappointing to see crime in our region rising, and rising higher than the national averages.

“There are mitigating circumstances for that, not least that these figures compare a period 12 months earlier during which we were under coronavirus lockdown and social measures.

“Our members are doing everything they can to tackle crime and to make our communities safe and are having some huge successes – but there’s only so much they can do.

“They’ve been hamstrung by a decade of austerity measures and underinvestment, and while we welcome the Government Uplift Programme it will only bring us to pre-austerity levels of officers.

“We need more officers to be able to do the job the public expects of us, and to serve and protect our communities.”