Figures Confirm South Wales is Hotspot for Violent Crime - Willott

2007 Ionawr 25 5:11 PM

Responding to recorded crime figures released today by the Home Office, Jenny Willott MP warned that South Wales is the key hotspot in Wales for violent crimes.

Jenny said:

"These figures are extremely worrying. It seems that South Wales is becoming the Welsh hotspot for serious crimes.

"While most of Wales has seen the total level of crime go down, South Wales has seen no real change. However, the number of more serious crimes have jumped.

"Total violent crime has risen by 6% since last year, violence against a person by 5% and robbery increasing by a massive 16%. The rest of Wales has seen crime level reduce. Gwent, for example has shown an 11% drop in crime against a person while Dyfed-Powys has seen total crime reduce by some 7%.

"The trend suggests a growing disparity in recorded crime levels across Wales with South Wales becoming the magnet for more violent criminal behaviour.

"The Government must accept a share of the blame for this state of affairs. Their botched police force merger plans left a half a million pound black hole in Welsh police force finances, wasted 10,000 police hours and took many high ranking police officers off their duties to work on the plans for up to 10 months.

"Furthermore, South Wales is 186 Community Support Officers short of Government targets. Community Support Officers are essential to preventing crime, and cutting back their numbers makes a mockery of the government's claim to be tough on crime.

"Cutting crime in South Wales will take more than a suffocating wave of half-baked proposals and choreographed 'tough' announcements from ministers. To cut crime in South Wales we must be more than tough on crime, we must be smart about crime and this requires an entirely different approach, one that this Government seems incapable of."

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