Rise in violent crime in St Helens

Merseyside Police recorded 5,876 incidents of violent crime in St. Helens in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Merseyside Police recorded 5,876 incidents of violent crime in St. Helens in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Violent crime has risen in St Helens 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.

Merseyside recorded 5,876 incidents of violent crime in St. Helens in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 23% compared to the previous year.

At 32.6 crimes per 1,000 people, that's higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 28.7.

One of the main factors behind the increase was the increase in violence without injury, which rose by 34% , from 1,714 incidents to 2,292.

Offences of violence with injury meanwhile increased by 5% to 1,806.

There were also two homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, down by three on the previous 12 months, and 1,774 cases of stalking or harassment, compared to 1,360 the previous year.

Overall, police recorded 7% more crime across England and Wales – there were more than 6 million offences in the 12 months to June.

The biggest hike was in stalking and harassment , which jumped by 37% to 459,000.

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

Responding to the national figures, John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "These figures once again come as no surprise as officers continue to struggle to deal with delivering the basics in policing which is incredibly frustrating for them.

“With forces snowed under by demand, unable to answer all 999 calls in some cases, chiefs are having to make some difficult decisions over which services need to be reined back."

The total number of offences in St. Helens increased by 6%, with police recording 15,903 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 88.4 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 89.3.

Other crimes recorded in St. Helens included:

409 sexual offences, a rise of 11%

3,652 theft offences, a decrease of 28%

2,053 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 12%

687 drug offences, up 19%

113 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 15%

1,561 public order offences, up 16%

There was also a 7% increase in incidents involving knives or sharp incidents across England and Wales.

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said while the rise was concerning, use of targeted stop and search and other measures had helped reduce the rate of increase.

He said: “In the past few years cuts to policing have meant we’ve become more reactive to crime. With the recruitment of additional officers we will have more people on the beat and more people investigating and preventing crime.

“I am also concerned by increases in other offences, and that too few crimes are being solved and brought to court for justice to be done.

"This is a symptom of the strain on policing as we try to manage growing crime and demand that is ever more complex."