WREXHAM’S MP has been accused of attempting to make ‘political capital’ out of the crime figures for North Wales.

The region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones, has responded to comments from the town’s MP Ian Lucas which appeared in the Leader earlier this week about a “disturbing” rise in violent crime.

According to Mr Jones, the Labour MP has not accepted any invitations to meet for a briefing for MPs and AMs about the challenges facing North Wales Police while he meets regularly with other politicians from different parties.

The commissioner said North Wales Police were doing an excellent job under difficult circumstances, including a 20 per cent cut to their budget in recent years.

Plaid Cymru member Mr Jones, a former police inspector in North Wales, said: “Mr Lucas is clearly intent on making political capital out of a serious subject.

“The rise in the statistics for violent crime is a general trend across the UK and it is important to remember than North Wales is still one of the safest places to live and work.

“Another important factor to remember is there have been changes in the recording methods of some categories of crime, including violent crime, and this has also had an impact in skewing that statistics. This is something that he should know.

“Mr Lucas is right to point out the North Wales force has been subjected to a 20 per cent in its budget and while there is always room for improvement, the force has responded admirably by targeting its resources carefully to meet the increasing demands placed upon it.

“While homicides have increased in recent years, the trend in 2018/19 is downwards, reflecting the priority given to addressing domestic abuse and county lines drug supplying which accounts for the increases.

“I scrutinise the performance of the force very closely and regularly provide detailed reports to the North Wales Police and Crime Panel, and the force’s performance is particularly impressive in relation to tackling domestic abuse.

“The Panel includes a Labour member from Wrexham and Mr Lucas is also welcome to send his own questions should he wish.

“The only letter I have received recently from Mr Lucas was an invitation to meet with the North Wales Labour Group in Westminster which was declined.

“I did, however, offer to host an information day to provide a full briefing to our MPs and AMs about the operational and financial challenges facing North Wales Police, following a previous event which Mr Lucas did not attend.”

He added: “I would point out I have met with many politicians recently which shows I am accessible and perhaps it would be easier to meet with Mr Lucas if he was willing to do so without conditions.

“We will be to hosting an information day for all national elected officials once the new Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes, settles in to his role after he starts in November and I very much hope Mr Lucas will make every effort to attend. It would be good to see him there.”

Mr Lucas has written to Mr Jones seeking a face-to-face meeting to discuss, on behalf of his constituents, what he describes as a “disturbing” rise in violent crime across the region.