news

Huddersfield's top cop Steve Cotter explains the background to rise in crime figures

West Yorkshire recorded biggest increase in crime in country last year

Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter

West Yorkshire Police recorded the biggest increase in crime in the country last year but Huddersfield’s top cop says Kirklees residents shouldn’t worry.

Chief Supt Steve Cotter said much of the increase was down to the way in which crime is now recorded.

He said: “There has been a 4% rise in total crime in Kirklees over the last 12 months but that’s on the back of significant reductions in crime for the last 11 years so your chance of being a victim of crime is much lower than it has been.”

Earlier this year it was revealed that across the whole of England and Wales there had been an 8.7% increase in police recorded crime in the year to March 2016.

Drunks and hot weather push up 999 calls to record levels

But Mr Cotter explained how the statistics did not tell the full story.

For example the largest increase recorded by West Yorkshire Police came in the ‘public order offences’ category where crimes more than doubled.

But he said: “A really good example would be if someone rings us to say two people on a street corner are being abusive and shouting.

“When we arrive they have already got in a taxi and have gone but that incident will be recorded as a public order offence by the Home Office.”

How safe is your street? Find out how crime levels in your postcode have changed over last four years

One type of crime he said had definitely increased for real was the theft of sat navs from vehicles.

Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter

He said: “It has certainly started to show up in vehicle crime thefts and some motor vehicle thefts as well. Criminals resell them online or on ebay.

“Criminals are finding a way round the manufacturers’ techniques to reduce crime.”

Mr Cotter, who will celebrate a year in charge of Kirklees policing in October, said he was enjoying the challenge.

Particularly pleasing he said was a lower level of house burglaries compared to this time last year.

And he said call handling in Kirklees in response to incidents was satisfyingly high.

Huge increase in recorded crimes - but West Yorkshire police say it's down to how they are recorded

He added: “We are in the region of a 90% rate of getting there within 15 minutes. Our satisfaction rates are some of the highest in West Yorkshire.”

But he said any achievements had been overshadowed by the terrible tragedy involving the death of Batley & Spen Labour MP Jo Cox in June.

The popular 41-year-old mother-of-two was killed outside Birstall Library on her way to hosting a constituency surgery.

Mr Cotter said: “This was a real tragedy for everyone in Kirklees particularly for people in Batley & Spen.”

View full mobile page