“I note today’s crime statistics from the ONS.

“The good news is that nationally, overall, crime continues to be relatively stable and where as in 1995 four in ten had been the victim of crime,  in 2017 this was one in ten.

“In South Yorkshire crime has risen by 30%. The most serious rise, however, is with high harm crimes – such as knife crime and gun crime – where the increase is 57%. Fortunately these are rare crimes. This is a phenomenon that is Europe-wide.

“Many factors affect the percentage increases of which more crime is only one: recorded crime goes up with more police activity, more confidence in reporting crime and changes in recording. This may account for about 30% of the increase.

“The increase in violent crime which has happened over the past couple of years has to be taken very seriously, and it is.  I recently joined a round table discussion about it with the Home Secretary ahead of the government’s launching of a violent crime strategy; this week I gave funding for a knife bin in Spital Street, Sheffield, to try to get some weapons off the streets; South Yorkshire police have a number of targeted initiatives and the return to neighbourhood policing will result in more and better intelligence

“No one knows why violent crime has increased. There are many theories: the glamorising of violence on social media, fall in police numbers, rise in drug activity.  In South Yorkshire police numbers have fallen by 15% since 2010 – a loss of 500 officers. The most alarming increase is the violence within families – domestic abuse.

“What is clear is that this scourge will only be overcome if police and public and other agencies work together.”