Pick-pocketing and bag snatching have seen a huge surge in the West Midlands over the past year with 3,230 offences recorded by the West Midlands in 2018. These offences are thefts directly from a victim but without the use of threat or physical force, these offences also count as robberies.
Snatch Theft such as taking a bag cleanly from a shoulder and stealth theft such as pickpocket are included among these offences that have increased in number by an entire 11% within the past year.
In 2017 there were 2,899 recorded accounts of these crimes.
The theft rate in 2018 worked out as 6 threats for every 10,000 people according to the latest data from ONS.
Across England and Wales there were 98,891 thefts from the person in 2018 which works out as 17 thefts for every 10,00 people.
The rate remained stable compared to the previous year when there were 99,013 thefts.
London saw the highest rate of crime with 49 thefts for every 10,000 people while Dyfed-Powys in Wales saw the lowest with only 2 thefts for every 10,000 people, just 79 crimes in total.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Crime Recording and Statistics, Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “Once again the statistics show that overall very few people are likely to experience crime, however we know that there are real rises in serious crime, such as robbery, violence and knife crime. Our tactics to tackle serious violence like targeted intelligence led stop and search, disrupting gangs and work with local NHS Trusts are showing success and we are committed to doing all we can to bring crime down.
“We are dealing with a raised terror threat, rising crime and more complex, resource-intensive cases like modern slavery, child sexual exploitation and cybercrime which is putting a strain on forces. “Further long term funding is needed and we are working with the Home Office and Police and Crime Commissioners to make the case at the next spending review.”
“Improvement to the way police forces are recording crime continues to have an influence on statistics.”
Police advice on staying safe from robber is to take extra care when walking alone at night and to use roads that are well lite and relatively busy, avoid short cuts that involve alleyways or walking across parks and to be aware and alert of all surrounds. Police also warn people to be careful with electronics, talking on or listening to music on a mobile phone or carrying items such as a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal.
If you think you are being followed, the advice is to cross the road or go into a shop and stay there until you’re sure you’re safe.