Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has sent another stark warning to government as crime continues to rise across the region.

Greater Manchester Police officers

Statistics released today by the Office for National Statistics show a 3% rise in recorded crime across Greater Manchester for the 12 months to June 2014. Nationally, crime has remained static.

As government cuts continue to bite, theft offences, which include burglary, vehicle crime and shoplifting, have risen by 3% – although theft from the person has seen a 9% fall.

There has also been an increase in violent crime – up by 16% compared to a national increase of 11%.

Changes in how GMP record crime means police now have a clearer picture of crime across Greater Manchester highlighting the real pressure on dwindling resources.

“Earlier this week Policing Minister Mike Penning tried to defend the government’s attack on policing with claims that crime is continuing to fall. Well I say to him – look again. The figures released today show this is simply not true – it’s exactly the opposite and highlights once again that these reckless cuts are putting our communities at risk.

“GMP’s Twitterthon illustrated the sheer demand on a police service that has already lost 1,500 officers. Threats of further cuts will stretch the thin blue line to breaking point – we just can’t take any more. So I call again on Ministers to remove their blinkers and face reality: you are endangering the good work of police, other agencies and local people to build safer neighbourhoods.”Tony Lloyd

Sexual offences have also increased by 21%, which suggests that more victims are coming forward.

“GMP has a team of specialist officers dedicated to investigating these horrific crimes and I want victims of rape and sexual offences to have confidence that they will be taken seriously and will get the help and support they need,” added Tony.

There have been reductions in some crime types, including criminal damage and arson – down 4% – and a 16% drop in drug offences compared to a national decline of 7%.

Tony added: “Despite the tremendous demand on the police, officers and staff continue to show dedication and commitment to keeping our communities safe and I commend them for that. There has been a lot of good work to target organised crime groups and take drugs off our streets and it’s welcoming to see that this is paying off.”

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “The force is now seeing a significant increase in victims coming forward to report assault, domestic abuse and sexual offences. This is a positive move in that more people have confidence that GMP will take them seriously and more are prepared to take a stand.

“This is inevitably leading to more demand on the force as many of these offences are complex and historic cases are particularly challenging. The constant reduction in the size of the force is a great concern for staff but they are doing their best to give a good service to the public and to get dangerous people and criminal groups locked up.

“As I have said elsewhere these trends will see a movement in the focus of the force to spending even more time protecting vulnerable people while still doing our best to reduce burglary and other crimes of concern to the public.”

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