Violent crimes up 35%, sex crimes up 26% – but North Yorkshire still the safest place in England

Photograph: North Yorkshire Police
18 Jul 2019 @ 4.43 pm
| Crime, News

Violent crimes are up by more than a third in North Yorkshire, and reported crimes overall have risen by 16%.

But North Yorkshire remains the safest place to live in England, according to the latest figures.

Residents are almost half as likely to be a victim of a crime than they are nationally.

Figures released today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were a total of 45,211 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 55.1 per 1,000 of the population.

Nationally the rate is 89.5%, meaning people in North Yorkshire are almost half as likely to have a crime committed against them.

One of North Yorkshire’s most senior police officers said that while the very low crime rate is encouraging, the rise highlights the “challenges we continue to face in policing”.

The figures

Violence and against the person increased by 35% (14,602 crimes in total). It is made up of three sub-categories:

  • violence with injury (5,621 crimes in total, a 15% increase)
  • violence without injury category (5,677 crimes in total, a 26% increase)
  • and harassment and stalking (3,260 crimes in total, a 130% increase).

“Trends in stalking and harassment offences recorded by the police need to be interpreted with caution,” reports the ONS.

“There have been changes in the coverage of this group of offences and in the rules governing the recording of these offences.”

Sexual offences in North Yorkshire increased by 26% (1,961 crimes in total).

The police said: “This rise is regarded as a 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. It is also among the lowest volumes of this type of crime in the country.”

Recorded drug crime increased by 11% (1,588 crimes in total)

North Yorkshire Police said this reflected their focus on tackling so-called County Lines drug dealing – when drug dealers come into rural towns from urban areas – during this period.

“This has resulted in a large number of detections, arrests and prison sentences, and has enabled police to break up large heroin and cocaine supply chains across North Yorkshire.”

Other stats

Burglary is up by 8% (3,931 crimes in total, of which 2,391 are recorded as domestic burglaries) and theft offences increased by 4% (17,265 crimes in total)

Vehicle offences fell by 4% (2,336 crimes in total) and shoplifting
reduced by 4% (4,509 crimes in total).

Theft from the person rose by 15% (475 crimes in total) and criminal damage and arson rose by 3% (6,078 crimes in total).

Police chief’s analysis

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Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain said: “Today’s figures show you’re far less likely to be a victim of a crime in North Yorkshire than you are nationally. In fact, the county remains the safest place in England.

“That said, we have seen increases in some types of recorded crime. This highlights the challenges we continue to face in policing, which we have a duty to address with the limited resources available to us.

“We’re meeting those challenges by finding new or better ways to tackle different types of crime and further improving victim confidence, so more people feel comfortable coming forward and reporting crimes to us.

“There are lots of ways we’re doing this. We’re issuing frontline officers with handheld devices so they spend less time behind a desk and more time on the beat, where the public can approach them, chat to them and share information.

“We’re developing dedicated teams, who are highly trained in certain areas of policing, such as our Rural Taskforce, our teams that safeguard vulnerable people and our Fraud and Cybercrime experts.

“And crucially, we’re helping victims by giving them the response, support and confidence they need to report a crime.

“That may mean we see year-on-year fluctuations in crime figures. But it also means we’re putting victims first and adapting the way we work to meet the challenges we face, to ensure North Yorkshire once again remains the safest place in England.”