Police are failing to turn up to crimes because they don’t have enough officers, an MP has warned.
But cuts to other services including youth workers and social care are also contributing to an increase in violent crime, according to Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood .
He said: “You only get a response from the police when there is an emergency. When shots are fired or there is a major crime scene.
“It is very hard if there is a burglary or an incident of domestic violence to get the police to turn up.”
The MP, who represents the inner-city Perry Barr constituency, was responding to the Government’s Violent Crime Strategy, launched by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
The strategy has been criticised for failing to mention cuts to police numbers as a potential cause of the rising crime rate - while a separate leaked Home Office document warned police cuts had “likely contributed” to rising violence and “encouraged” offenders.
Official figures show the number of violent crimes recorded by West Midlands Police rose from 42,280 in the 12 months up to December 2010, to 52,176 in the 12 months up to December 2017.
At the same time, the number of police officers fell from 8,626 to 6,758.
Mr Mahmood said: “We used to have an officer present on the beat or in cars.
“What has happened since police numbers have fallen is we have had an increase in burglaries.
“The lack of police numbers has emboldened the criminals.
“Gang crime is going up significantly. There are more stabbings.”
And cuts to the number of Police and Community Support Officers meant the force had less intelligence about what was happening in inner city areas, he said.
“The police have worked really hard at neighbourhood policing.
“But because of the cuts, it’s become really difficult to do that.
“The Police and Community Support Officers are really good at gathering intelligence.
“They spoke to people in their communities. They’d be invited into people’s homes for a cup of tea, and people would tell them what was going on.
“They had a huge rapport with local people. The problem now is they are not getting that type of intelligence.
“It’s being lost, because the police don’t have the people to do that work.”
Other agencies had also contributed to keeping crime under control, said Mr Mahmood, but they are now facing cuts of their own.
“When I became an MP we did a lot of hard work to engage the community, the police service, youth services, social services, everybody.
“But now we have lost the youth service support.
“We are dealing with people with mental health issues but the mental health services aren’t there. Neither are social services.
“It’s not just about police. Everybody has had their funding cut.
“It is about numbers and about visible support. It’s nonsense to say these things don’t matter.”
Despite the increase, the overall level of violent crime in the West Midlands is lower than the national average.
There were 18.2 incidents of violent crime in the 12 months up to December 2017 in the area served by West Midlands Police, according to official figures.
That’s below the national average of 22.1 incidents per 1,000 people.
Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces all recorded higher crime rates.