The efforts of Staffordshire Police Federation members in tackling crime have been praised by branch chair Lee Robinson after new figures showed the Force area was one of safest in the country.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, crime in Staffordshire rose in the 12 months to June by 15 per cent to 79,190 offences.

It’s slightly higher than the national average, with police recorded crime in England and Wales rising by 13 per cent on the previous year. Crime in the West Midlands region as a whole rose by 20 per cent.

The ONS figures also show that in Staffordshire there were 69.5 offences per 1,000 population. Only seven other force areas have a lower rate offences per 1,000 population. The figure for England and Wales is 91.3 and for the West Midlands region it’s 97.3.

Sexual offences rose by 33 per cent, violence against the person was up by 15 per cent, and robbery by 39 per cent, the figures showed.

Burglary rose by 24 per cent, theft offences by 16 per cent, and vehicle offences by 17 per cent, and knife crime rose by 22 per cent. Drug offences were down by 15 per cent.

Lee said: “While it’s really disappointing to see crime in Staffordshire rising, the figures are comparing periods when we were under lockdowns.

“The hard work of our members with their communities ensures that Staffordshire remains among the safest places in the country in which to live.

“The figures also show the areas we need to target and to tackle. We’re committed to preventing offences, to driving down crime and to supporting victims.

“But to be able to do that we need a police service that is properly funded and resourced.

“Talk of a return to austerity is concerning because we can’t afford another period of cuts when what the last decade has shown is that what we really need is investment in our people and the service as a whole.”

Deputy Chief Constable Emma Barnett said: “Although the figures show that Staffordshire is still one of the safest places nationally, it is concerning to see a rise in some crime types, in particular violent crime and burglary.

“There is still a lot of work to do to tackle the types of criminality which continue to significantly impact our communities.

“This is why, as a result of our new policing model launched at the end of June this year, we will have more time to investigate crime, we have increased our local police patrols and delivered new training to all frontline staff on vulnerability.

“We are committed to actioning feedback from our communities and doing all we can to investigate any reports made to us in order to ensure Staffordshire continues to be a safe place to live.”