North Yorkshire remains lowest crime area in England and Wales despite 9% increase in offences

Last year North Yorkshire was the safest place in England and Wales, according to the latest crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:25 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:26 am

The statistics, released yesterday (April 23), show that despite a 9 per cent rise in crime when compared to 2018, the county remains the safest area in England and Wales.

There were 47,929 crimes in North Yorkshire, which gives a crime rate of 58.1 per 1,000 of the population which is the lowest crime rate nationally and substantially lower than the average of 89 per 1,000 across England and Wales.

However, the three months to December 2019 saw an increase in crime compared to the year before.

Police stock image. Picture: JPI Media

Chief Constable Lisa Winward, North Yorkshire Police said: “These figures show that North Yorkshire Police continues to be the safest place in the country per 1,000 of the population, despite the snapshot showing a 9% rise in recorded offences in comparison to the same period the year before.

“Even with our national position, we are not complacent, and a top priority for the force is ensuring victims continue to feel confident about reporting offences to us. As part of this, our piece of work to improve how we record crime, and also detect and investigate offences is ongoing as this naturally influences the county’s crime levels.

From 2018 to 2019 the county saw a decrease in bicycle theft (-9%), vehicle offences (-7%) and criminal damage (-3%).

There were increases in violence against the person (+22%), sexual offences (+6%), drug offences (+6%), possession of weapons (+3%), public order (+36%) and miscellaneous crimes against society (+25%).

The number of theft offences and death or serious injury caused by unlawful driving both remained unchanged.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward continued: “Maintaining our position as the safest place in the country is testament not only to the professionalism and dedication of the teams of people from North Yorkshire Police and our local authority and community partners, but also our communities who provide so much support to their local policing teams.

“There is no doubt that our collective strength, passion and pride we have for our area is a key factor in this high level of performance and my thanks go to each and every officer, staff member, volunteer and partner whose role is vital in helping us protect people. We are very proud to serve North Yorkshire and will continue to do everything in our power to keep our communities safe and secure.”

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “Clearly, a huge amount has changed since the period these figures cover but I am pleased that North Yorkshire continues to be the safest place in England and Wales.

“The snapshot does though show an increase in crime during the three months to December, compared to the year before, and when there are more offences there are always questions to be asked.

“Part of the increase is due to better recording of offences, and that’s important to ensure we know the challenges we face. But any increase is a concern, and I am particularly worried by the rise in violent crime and robbery – offences which cause huge concern in our communities.

“I will continue to work with the Chief Constable to ensure her plans address the challenges these figures show, but also reflect the situation we face today - dealing with a national emergency which has changed the world in a way we could not have imagined just months ago.”

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