Violent crimes in West Lindsey have almost doubled

Five cases of stalking and harassment are reported in Wigan every day
Five cases of stalking and harassment are reported in Wigan every day

Violent crime has almost doubled in West Lindsey over the last year, amid warnings of an epidemic sweeping the country.

The Police Federation said officers across England and Wales were struggling to “deliver the basics”, and warned the benefits of promised new recruits would not be felt for some time.

Lincolnshire recorded 1,911 incidents of violent crime in West Lindsey in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 95 per cent compared to the previous year.

The total number of offences in West Lindsey increased by 27 per cent, with police recording 5,911 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 62.3 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 89.3.

One of the main factors behind the increase was the increase in stalking and harassment, which rose by 238 per cent , from 152 incidents to 514.

Offences of violence with injury increased by 24 per cent and violence without injury by 126 per cent, reaching 584 and 807 respectively.

Overall, police recorded seven per cent more crime across England and Wales.

However, the ONS said improvements to reporting and recording practices by police could be behind the increase.

Temporary Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “The increase in serious offences is concerning, not just to me but to every other Chief Officer and law enforcement agency throughout England and Wales because the increase is a national one, and extensive work is underway to try and understand and tackle the issues.

“Our officers are dealing with complex crimes, safeguarding issues and working to protect vulnerable people, as well as ‘hidden’ offences in the digital world.

“Policing has never experienced more demand yet had more limited resources.

“Better reporting mechanisms can explain some of the increase, here in Lincolnshire we have tightened our recording practices meaning we are recording more offences, but it doesn’t explain it all away. There have been genuine rises in some of the areas we have seen in the county such as weapons offences and robberies.

“We are working hard with partners to try to understand where these increases have come from and how we can prevent them.

“While it is up to us as a police force to enforce the law and protect people, we also ensure we work with partners to see if we can prevent offending before it even happens.