13% rise in crime - but North Yorkshire remains safest area in England, say police

North Yorkshire remains the safest area in England, despite the latest official figures which show a 13% increase in recorded crime.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 9:09 am
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 9:13 am
Picture James Hardisty. Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire Julia Mulligan and North Yorkshire Police's Temporary Chief Constable Lisa Winward officially opened the new Force Control Room building.

This was confirmed in the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) Crime in England and Wales, year ending September 2018 bulletin published yesterday.

It shows there were a total of 42,279 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 51.6 per 1,000 of the population.

However, it is still the lowest crime rate in England with the national average standing at 85.7.

North Yorkshire Police anticipated the increase following improvements in the way the force records crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain said: “We were expecting this upward adjustment in the crime figures on the back of the extensive programme of work that has been undertaken to improve our crime recording processes.

“This has included a dedicated team that was put together to drive the necessary changes, which has seen a roll-out of additional guidance for officers and staff and within the Force Control Room.

“We are satisfied that North Yorkshire Police’s crime data integrity is back on track, and it is very pleasing that we have been able to achieve this while remaining the lowest crime area in England.”

DCC Cain added: “As ever, we sincerely thank our officers, Special Constables, PCSOs, police staff, volunteers and our partner agencies for keeping our communities safe. It is important to stress that their professionalism and the caring service they provide to victims of crime has never been brought into question.

“I can assure residents that North Yorkshire Police remains fully focused on tackling crime through strong neighbourhood policing and our continued commitment to proactive operational activity to target and deter offenders, both within our area and those who travel across the borders.”

Broken down into the main crime categories, the latest ONS figures for North Yorkshire show:

Miscellaneous crimes against society, which includes the possession and publication of extreme sexual images, decreased by 1% with 753 crimes in total

Burglary increased by 3% (3,718 crimes in total)

Theft from the person up by 15% (472 crimes in total)

Drug offences increased by 7% (1,588 crimes in total)

Violence and against the person increased by 27% (12,776 crimes in total), which is broken down into Violence with Injury (5,311 crimes in total, a 13% increase); Violence without Injury category (5,142 crimes in total, a 26% increase).

Harassment and Stalking (2,283 crimes in total, an 75% increase – this is a new recording category hence the high percentage)

Possession of weapons offences up by 35% (295 crimes in total)

Robbery increased by 19% (195 crimes in total)

Theft offences increased by 5% (16,960 crimes in total)

Bicycle theft saw no overall percentage change with 1,171 crimes in total

Shoplifting increased by 2% (4,527 crimes in total)

Other theft offences up by 7% (4,580 crimes in total

Criminal damage and arson up by 1% (5,940 crimes in total)

Vehicle Offences up by 16% (2,492 crimes in total)

Sexual offences increased by 24% (1,809 crimes in total).

This rise is regarded as a positive reflection of the confidence victims have in North Yorkshire Police, particularly those making historical complaints in the wake of high profile historical sexual abuse cases, plus support from dedicated facilities for victims of sexual assault.

Public order offences increased by 36% (1,962 crimes in total)