Increase in sexual offences in Yorkshire but overall crime rate is down

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RAPE levels recorded by police in England and Wales have continued to rise and remain at their highest ever level, official figures have revealed.

There were 24,043 rapes and 48,934 other sexual offences recorded by police nationally in the year to September 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It is thought the rise is down to improvement in recording and a greater willingness of victims to come forward .

Overall police recorded crime showing no change from the previous year with 3.7m offences recorded between October 2013 and September 2014.

The stagnation in the overall figure comes after concerns were raised about the poor quality of the way police record crimes, prompting the UK Statistics Authority to remove the figures’ official gold-standard status.

In Yorkshire the level of overall crime fell by three per cent with 346,669 recorded incidents.

West Yorkshire Police saw a drop in the crime rate of seven per cent. North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire forces reported no change and Humberside Police reported and increase of three per cent.

The tables show the Humberside policing area has the highest rates of crime per head of population in the country, outside of London. The ONS said there were 72.2 incidents for every 1,000 people.

In contrast North Yorkshire had one of the lowest in the country at 43 per cent.

Sexual offences and violence without injuries were the two categories in which the largest increase was recorded in Yorkshire. Sexual offences were said to up 23 per cent on the previous year’s statistics.

There were variations between the county’s forces.

South Yorkshire saw a 72 per cent increase in sexual offences, in North Yorkshire it was 32 per cent up, in Humberside it was 24 per cent and in West Yorkshire it was two per cent up on the 2012/13 statistics.

The number of incidents of violence without injury were said to be up 25 per cent across Yorkshire.

The biggest drop in crimes in Yorkshire came in domestic burglaries which fell by 12 per cent, and thefts from people which were down 13 per cent.West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson welcomed the fall in overall crime in the county.

He said: “These latest figures demonstrate that West Yorkshire Police officers and staff are working incredibly hard to help bring down crime across the county despite severe budget pressures.

“Domestic burglary remains a priority in the Police and Crime Plan and reducing it so significantly, by 19.5 per cent, is testament to the work of West Yorkshire Police and our partners.”

He said he had previously noted increases in violence with and without injury, and sexual offences which were areas receiving “ongoing attention.”Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioners said: “One of the key markers I have set down is for North Yorkshire Police is to keep our county in the top three safest places in England.

“I welcome these figures which show we are indeed the second safest place to live in England, and it is testament to the professionalism of police officers and staff who make it possible.”

However she added: “Statistics don’t tell the whole story. I want to continue to see a rise in reports of domestic and sexual abuse and hate crime because it is a signal of greater trust in policing.

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