Worry over 'terrible' increase in crime figures across Solihull

Worry over ‘terrible’ increase in crime figures across Solihull

Solihull residents are “worried sick” about recent rises in crime in the borough, a councillor has told members of the local policing team.

Cllr Joe Tildesley (Con, St Alphege), who is himself a retired inspector, said that he had grave concerns about increases in a number of offences over the past 12 months and suggested the situation in the first three months of 2018 would have been much worse if not for the adverse weather conditions.

The latest quarterly report presented to borough councillors shows that there has been an overall increase of 1,467 crimes in the year to date – a leap of a little over 10 per cent. Burglary (up 23.5 per cent), robbery (30.2 per cent) and vehicle crime (8.9 per cent) were among the offences to have risen over this time-frame.

The document does note, however, that total recorded crime in the final quarter of 2017/18 was down by 141 offences on the previous three months, and there were also fewer offences than during the corresponding period 12 months ago.



Cllr Joe Tildesley.

Superintendent Simon Inglis, from Solihull Police, acknowledged that any offence was one too many but he insisted that officers were continuing to work hard with partners and that a number of encouraging trends could be taken from the data.

During last night’s meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel, Cllr Tildesley had outlined why he was so worried about the situation.

“We have had PC rain and snow in January, February and March. Thank goodness we’ve had that, because if we hadn’t I dread to think what the crime figures would be like.

“The burglary increase … honestly, in my experience I have never seen, in a year, increases like this. You must be absolutely worried sick and, let me tell you, the people of Solihull are worried sick. We’ve seen the police station going and we’ve seen these terrible figures placed in front of us.

“I hope I haven’t been too brutal with what I see, but these figures are deeply worrying and concerning. God forbid they carry on for another 12 months.”

He told the representatives from Solihull Police that he wanted to see a more detailed breakdown of certain types of offences, as well as examples of success stories and officers who had done “outstanding work”.

Responding to the comments, Supt Inglis said he believed the trajectory in recent months, including the fall in offences between quarter three and four, should provide confidence.

He also noted that Solihull had low levels of crime generally so it only took a small increase in offences or a particular incident – for instance, a spate of robberies committed in the space of half an hour – to have a significant impact on the data.

“There has been publicity recently talking about a 62 per cent increase in robbery [taken from previous data]. I know that was put out in the media and it’s my job to reassure the community of what the actual context is around it.

“There are 211,000 people resident in Solihull – and that doesn’t include the people that come and visit here every single day – yet look at that bottom line and the amount of zeros … we’re having a number of days [where we’re not seeing a single robbery]. Now don’t get me wrong, I want them all to be zeros.”

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