PCC says violent crime is an ongoing issue in Wiltshire and across the country
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner says his office and Wiltshire Police are continuing work to tackle serious crime and reduce harm within communities - as new figures on violent crime are released by the Office of National Statistics.
According to the latest report issued on Thursday - Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2023, robbery, offences involving knives, and firearms all show an increase in Wiltshire, in-line with the national picture.
In Wiltshire, Robbery increased to 351 recorded instances compared with 314 crimes in the previous 12 months, an increase of 11% echoing the national 11% increase.
Recorded instances of knife crime in Wiltshire and Swindon show an increase of 15%, with 326 recorded crimes against 278 the previous year. Nationally there has been an increase of 3% in the same period.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is currently working to reduce serious violence by working with partners including: the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Commission to engage with young people and their families, as well as securing Safer Streets funding which is used for projects including more street lighting and extra CCTV.
The OPCC also plays a pivotal role in bringing together local partners and specified authorities to work together to reduce serious violence, under the Serious Violence Duty (SVD).
PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Tackling serious violence and knife crime is a key priority for my office, Wiltshire Police and the wider partnerships, and while the stats say one thing it’s the communities are really feeling the effects.
“The Chief Constable has made reducing violence and creating safer public spaces two of her key priorities and I fully support every effort being made to achieve them.
“My office is also ensuring all key stakeholders are working together - through the work of our recently-appointed Serious Violence Duty Co-ordinator – with our first focus on working with our partners at Swindon Borough Council, Children’s Services and the Youth Justice Service to create a Youth Safety Strategy.
"We know we cannot eradicate crime, and knife crime in particular, and it will take some time for the force’s hard work to be felt by the communities themselves.
"However, residents can be reassured that the ongoing efforts and dedication of Wiltshire Police continues in the meantime to ensure we are providing as much support and proactive policing within communities as we possibly can, to address not only the symptoms of crime but also the underlying causes and consequences.”