Crime rates in Lincolnshire have risen at a lower level than the national trend, according to the latest independently-produced figures.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released the latest crime statistics for the 12 months up to March 2018, which provides comparisons of local with national trends.
Although the general national trend is one of increases across the board, the rises in Lincolnshire’s are lower in most categories.
The overall rise in crime in the county was 9% which makes Lincolnshire the fifth lowest in the country when considering crimes per 1000 of population.
There was a 33% increase in sexual offences in Lincolnshire and 606 reported rapes.
Drugs offences were up 13% but there was a decrease of 7% in burglaries.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “We work hard in Lincolnshire to ensure that we are doing all we can to serve and help protect our communities and work with them to tackle crime and bring offenders to justice.
“We will continue to do that to make sure Lincolnshire is a safe place in which to live and work.
“We have seen a 9% rise in overall crime in Lincolnshire and one of the explanations for that could be that victims of crime have greater confidence in coming forward, meaning our figures will rise.
“While we would of course prefer that less crime is taking place on our streets we always encourage victims to report to us, only then can we investigate, catch offenders and identify patterns.
“We have not experienced the same rises in robbery and burglary that have been seen nationally, even when factoring in recent criticisms from HMICFRS on recording procedures, but that does not mean we are immune to those offences here.
“We continue to assess and work to identify demand – meaning that our resources are placed where most needed and protect the most vulnerable in society – and that is a continual process.
“As crime evolves and changes, so will our policing response.
“Police Forces are responding by working proactively within their communities to provide an effective response through sharing intelligence and by working with government and partners to implement early intervention strategies.
“We will continue to work with the Ministers and Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure we are adapting to meet the changing nature of our demand, providing the best possible service to the public.
“There are some real challenges ahead but I, along with my Chief Officer Team and the Police and Crime Commissioner, remain committed to working with partners to ensure Lincolnshire is a safe and enjoyable county for all its residents and visitors.”
Mr Skelly’s comments come amid concerns about a perceived increase in crime in many communities - including Louth, Horncastle and Market Rasen.
There are also concerns about the number of officers available to deal with crimes as attempts continue to secure a fairer funding deal from the Government.
Figures for Lincolnshire:
• Overall Crime - Nationally the figure for increase in all crime was +13% - Lincolnshire’s increase was 9% (+3419 offences). This makes Lincolnshire the fifth lowest when considering crimes per 1000 of population.
• Burglary - Nationally, burglary showed a 6% increase but in Lincolnshire there was a 7% decrease (4721 cases reported, a decrease of 381).
Because the national counting rules for domestic burglaries were changed last year to include sheds and outbuildings, full year statistics to make comparisons for domestic burglary will not be available for another 12 months.
• Violence Against the Person - Nationally there was just over 19% increase in Violence Against the Person which in Lincolnshire was about 12% (+ 933) cases which put it at the lowest in the country per 1000 of population.
Where injury occurred, nationally there was a near 10% increase and in Lincolnshire just over 7% (+287) which put it second lowest nationally.
• Sexual Offences - Sexual offences increased nationally by 24% and in Lincolnshire there were 388 more cases, representing a 33% increase.
This places the Force 12th out of the 42 forces in England and Wales.
For rape specifically there were 606 offences recorded, an increase of 144 in Lincolnshire, which nationally makes it 28th lowest.
• Robbery: (includes both personal and business) - Robbery increased nationally by nearly 30% but in Lincolnshire the increase was just over 5% at 232 cases and increase of 12 offences.
• Theft (excluding vehicles) - Theft increased nationally by just over 5% and in Lincolnshire there were nearly 13% more cases recorded [11,855 cases] and increase of 1,349 cases.
Shoplifting shows the largest increases of 747 more offences – nearly 16% increase.
• Drugs offences - Drugs offences showed an increase in Lincolnshire of 13%. There were no increases nationally.
• Arson & Criminal Damage - Increases in arson and criminal damage were slightly lower in Lincolnshire (+4%), an increase of 204 cases, compared with the national figure of a 5% increase.
• Vehicle Crimes - Vehicle crimes in general showed a national rise of 12% which was similar in Lincolnshire with 394 more cases recorded.
This figure includes theft of vehicle, theft from vehicle and vehicle interference.
• Crimes Against Society - Crimes against society (which include such offences as obscene publications, forgery and threat of criminal damage) were up nationally by 20% and in Lincolnshire showed an increase of just over 9%, placing it 11th lowest in the country.