Statement on the latest Office for National Statistics crime data (27 Apr 2017)

Responding to the release of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime data, Isabel Owen, West Yorkshire's Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner said: "West Yorkshire Police are leading the way in improving crime recording practises and have been praised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) for their efforts.

"However these improvements have had and will continue to have an impact on the figures making them look disproportionately high until a new base level is achieved and other police forces reach the same standards.

"If we take the changes to recording practises into account the real overall rise in crime in West Yorkshire is actually around 4%. No-one wants to see a rise but it was crucial to work with West Yorkshire Police to improve recording practises so our partners and communities can understand the true picture.

"I have regular meetings with the Chief Constable where I scrutinise crime data and discuss the proactive work to tackle emerging issues.

"We recently ran a successful weapons surrender where nearly 300 guns, knives and ammunition were handed in. This ran alongside operations specifically targeting those in possession of illegal and dangerous weapons.

"We have a dedicated Cyber Crime Team and have embedded cyber crime training across the force to tackle issues such as online bullying and harassment, with guides for the public on how to stay safe also readily available from West Yorkshire Police's website.

"HMIC's latest PEEL inspection which is an annual assessment of police forces in England and Wales, assessing their effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy rated West Yorkshire Police as good.

"As previously announced, with the help of our communities I was able to set a budget for this year and as well as last year which allows for a substantial amount of open recruitment for police officers and protection of Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) numbers. Some of these officers are already on our streets, making a real difference in helping to keep us safe and the next round of recruitment is planned for the summer.

"I pledged to put victims first and I will always do so, if you have been a victim of crime then please report it so you can get the support you need. To report a crime to West Yorkshire Police call 101 or for more options visit their website at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ClickB4UCall you can also report anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Help for victims and witnesses can be found on my Help for Victims website www.helpforvictims.co.uk."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2017