BOLTON’S police commissioner has warned that crime is on the rise and the situation is likely to get worse as the government’s programme of cuts continues in policing and across the public sector.

Tony Lloyd was speaking as the Home Office released crime statistics for the period up to September, 2013.

Although the figures for that period show that crime overall fell, it rose in several key areas, including burglary and theft from the person.

Greater Manchester Police’s own figures show that since September, the 20-year downward trend in crime is coming to a halt and it is likely to rise within the next few months.

Mr Lloyd said: “I have warned for some time that the government’s reckless programme of cuts would have an impact on community safety and we’re starting to see this happen in Greater Manchester.

“It endangers the great work that GMP has done, working with partner agencies and our communities, to build safer neighbourhoods over the course of decades.

“It’s time for the government to face up to the fact that the speed and severity of the cuts are damaging our communities.

“Of course, we will do everything we can here in Greater Manchester to ensure the police continue to provide the best service it can in difficult circumstances.

“I am preparing my budget plans for the coming year, which will be announced this week.”

But the crime commissioner also welcomed the 6.4 per cent reduction in crime across Greater Manchester.

He added: “For victim-based crime, there has also been a five per cent reduction, which means there were nearly 9,000 fewer victims during this reporting period.”

Mr Lloyd’s com-ments were echoed by chief constable Sir Peter Fahy. He said: “Greater Manchester Police previously had one of the highest crime rates outside London.

“We have improved significantly against rates in other similar sized cities.”