In addition to the economy, a major challenge that the newly sworn-in Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, will face in her term is public safety.
Two recent cases of violence shocked the country. In August, two men, one convicted of assault and recently released on parole, broke into the home of Liverpool resident Cheryl Korbel. One of the criminals (who was masked) was chasing the other and fired several shots, wounding Cheryl and the recently released convict and killing the housewife’s nine-year-old daughter Olivia.
In February , a thief convict (had a record of 47 convictions) was also given parole in Wales and less than a week after his release broke into a house in Cardiff and raped a woman and her 14 year old daughter. Last month, he was sentenced to life in prison, but could seek parole in ten years.
Statistics prove this feeling of insecurity in the British population. A report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which compiles data between April of one year and March of the following year, showed that cases of violence against the person (assaults, murders and attempts) increased 18% in England and Wales between 2022 and 2022, reaching 2 .1 million occurrences between the second quarter of last year and the first quarter of this one.
It is a higher level also than the pre-pandemic, since between April of 2019 and March 2020 1.8 million cases were recorded. Since the period 2012/2013, when just over 600 a thousand crimes of violence against the person were recorded in England and Wales, the numbers have been increasing year by year.
Between April 2022 and March 2022 ), there was also a record in the annual number of rape records in England and Wales, with 127.330 cases, but the ONS pointed out that there may have been more reports of these crimes due to campaigns for victims to report the violence they suffered.
The statistics do not include data from Scotland and Northern Ireland because the other two UK countries have separate legal systems.
In September, The Guardian, based on data from the Home Office, reported that, although in London, firearms crime has increased in most parts of England and Wales: 43 from 43 f Police forces in both countries have seen an increase in registrations over the past ten years. In eight of them, the annual rate more than doubled.
The biggest increase was recorded in the Cleveland region of north-east England, where firearm crimes nearly six-fold increased from 22 records for 127. The vast majority of these offenses, according to the National Criminal Agency (NCA), are committed with illegal weapons, which reach the hands of gangs through criminal networks that bring them from mainland Europe hidden in vehicles.
One possible explanation for the increase in violence in England and Wales is the drop in the number of police officers. Last year the UK had 160 a thousand of them serving in the security forces, about 127 a thousand less than there was in 2010.
During the campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party and for prime minister, Truss said she would resume national crime-fighting targets, holding police chiefs accountable for forces that fail to meet them, would increase the British workforce by 20 thousand police officers and would reduce the numbers of murders and violent crimes by 20%.
However, it is still unclear how the new prime minister plans to achieve these results. “While these demands can make compelling headlines, they are meaningless without further explanation from the Conservative Party leadership,” Richard Lewis of the National Council of Chiefs of Police told the Guardian.