Fact check: Is crime actually getting worse in Westhoughton?

Police tape

It’s fair to say that the number one issue on the minds of Westhoughton residents right now is crime in the town.

In recent weeks and months we’ve all heard horrific stories of armed robberies at local businesses, violent attacks in the streets and family homes being ransacked by thieves.

But one question many people have wondered is this: is crime actually getting worse?

To answer that question Westhoughton Liberal Democrats have analysed crime reports from January 2015 until November 2017 for both Westhoughton North with Chew Moor and Westhoughton South wards. This is what we found.

The number of reported crimes across Westhoughton is actually increasing.

Our analysis shows a steady increase in the average number of crimes reported each month. The grey dotted line in the graph below shows the average increase.

Crime figures for Westhoughton

Whilst there are fluctuations from month-to-month it is this longer term analysis that demonstrates our concerns about increasing levels of crime.

What’s worse is that violent crime in particular appears to be on the rise. This is the number of violent crimes reported between December 2016 and November 2017 in Westhoughton North:

Violence and sexual offences

What are the outcomes from all of these reported crimes? Well, taking the general crime figures for Westhoughton North over the same one year period as an example, just 2.25% of the reported crimes ended in the offender being dealt with at court. There was no further action in 84% of cases:


The change also correlates with a reduction in Westhoughton’s policing team – from four police officers there are now just two covering our area. And even with those few officers, it has emerged that officers have had to be pulled in from the other side of Bolton when there has been no one to cover the town.

This is why Westhoughton town councillors David Wilkinson and Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon are calling for Westhoughton’s axed police officers to be brought back.

Councillors David Wilkinson and Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon on Dixon Street
Councillors David Wilkinson and Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon

David said: “Our town is not getting any smaller yet the policing team is. People are quite rightly worried about crime in the area and we need to turn this around urgently before it gets any worse. We need our police officers back.”

Bernadette added: “We are calling on Bolton West MP Chris Green to demand more resources for Greater Manchester Police from his boss Theresa May.”

Across Greater Manchester, police numbers have been slashed by 2,000 – yet at the same time they are having to deal with new threats such as terrorism, putting further strain on local policing.

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  1. Well of course crime is going up no police like the old days these days what police there are are a waist of time the travel agent shop got robbed the other week the police took more than 15 minutes turn up my friends where watching the show outside weatherspoons .. cops turned up like headless chickens the robbers had long gone … There is no way your getting more police presence here the government has stolen all the money ( no arrests ) lol … The only solution is public watch hub .. you only need pin point areas for home cameras pointing into the streets to follow a criminals route To and from .. if many people joined together you’d cover the hole town cameras are cheap now and you can internet hub all the property’s cameras together and watch it live … I can go anywhere in the world and watch my propertys now with motion detection … So Mr willkinson bring that up on your Facebook page … I don’t ! do Facebook friends ..

  2. Johnedwards is obviously a policing expert…for his info the police did not behave like headless chickens but secured the scene and dealt with the traumatised staff which was the priority at the time.Lets just wait and see what happens with the investigation. As foe policing levels they are dangerously low all over Bolton….ask people in Little Lever or Bromley Cross. This govt is totally culpable.

  3. I have lived in westhoughton since 2002 and never have I been bothered about crime but this last two years since the police have gone westhoughton is now an open house for thrives and burglars it is time there was something done to stop it

  4. What about everything that has happened between November last year and now, a lot more criminal activities that are not even mentioned here, let alone referred too so an out of date report that proves very little,
    Still do not feel any safer and worried that others across our town are just as concerned and see absolutely nothing being realistically done to make any of us any happier?

    1. Hi Lynn. The crime statistics for December 2017 and January 2018 have not yet been released by the police. We agree they are likely to shown an alarming number of crimes. We will keep an eye on the figures as they are released.

  5. more houses built, more houses to be built , more land for sale even more houses? no more doctors, no more schools on plans well that’s a problem. our M.P. may have the answer. less police yes that could be his answer.

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