Bolton's crime rate is higher than the national average, new figures reveal.
Statistics published have broken down reported crimes in the borough, with violent offences at the top of the table.
Due to Greater Manchester Police having only implemented its new IT system in 2019, it is impossible to compare the data to previous years. Therefore it is not possible to say whether these figures represent a positive or negative trend.
However, the figures can be set against what is happening elsewhere in the country, and they reveal that in the 12 months to December 2021, Bolton’s 122.5 crimes per 1,000 people is a much higher rate than the average for the rest of England and Wales, which stands at 85.5 per 1,000 people.
But police say they are committed to making Bolton a safe place and are currently running a number of operations to combat crime.
Crimes recorded in Bolton over the 12-month period:
1,063 sexual offences
13,990 violent offences
3,287 incidents of criminal damage and arson
534 drug offences
368 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives
5,724 public order offences
9,093 theft offences
5,167 stalking and harassment offences
Superintendent Stephanie Parker, of GMP's Bolton district, said: “Officers and staff in Bolton are absolutely committed to reducing crime and making the streets of Bolton a safer place to live, work and visit for everyone.
“There are a number of proactive operations on-going in the district to tackle some of the highest crime types with dedicated teams of officers working to arrest those responsible and listen to the communities’ concerns.
“We recently reopened the custody suite at Bolton as part of GMP’s renewed focus on investigating crime, looking after victims, arresting offenders and protecting neighbourhoods which has already led to more arrests.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Martyn Cox, wary of the figures could draw the wrong conclusions.
He believes the change in leadership at the top of police in Greater Manchester has contributed to a more effective police force, which is reflected in a high number of arrests and recording of crime.
He said: “I think we’ve got the police to be a lot more active.
“The new chief has promised a lot more arrests and that’s what we’re seeing. That doesn’t mean that crime is going up.
“He said they would be hard on crime, arrest more people and tackle gangs. The police are being a lot more robust and proactive, and about time too.”
Chief Constable Stephen Watson was brought in last year in response to Greater Manchester Police being placed in special measures.
Following that damning report, in September 2021 he announced a “dead straightforward” plan for tacking crime throughout the metropolitan area.
“It is about focussing on the basics,” he said in a video announcement`. “It’s about fighting crime. It’s about caring for people. And it’s about looking after victims.”
Superintendent Parker added: “We will always listen to the communities we serve and anyone with concerns about crime in their community can report it online or via LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk.”