Despite a 2% decrease in the total number of crimes reported in Lincolnshire last year, sexual, drugs and possession of weapons offences increased by more than 10%, according to annual data released by the Office of National statistics (ONS).
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) figures for the year ending September 2014 were complied to show the total recorded crimes by police forces in England and Wales, compared on with the figures for the previous year.
Lincolnshire marked reductions in areas such as theft and burglary offences, however sexual offences reported increased by 17%, violence without injury and drugs offences both increased by 13% and possession of weapons offences increased by 11%.
In response to the increase in sexual offences, Superintendent Rick Hatton, Head of Lincolnshire Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “There are a myriad of factors that could explain why we have seen a rise in these types of figures, not least because it is possible that there has been an increase in reporting.
“This could be because of some of the recent publicity surrounding historic sex cases; a willingness of victims to come forward coupled with an improvement in victim confidence; and improved recording of these types of incidents.
“Within Lincolnshire the police, together with our partners, have demonstrated a real commitment to meet the needs of victims whether that be through the courts or via support services.
“In addition, online incidents and those that involve technology such as smartphones are also being recorded and reported in these types of crimes. The use of technology has enabled offenders to target people in a variety of different ways and this is what we are increasingly seeing.”
Across England and Wales police recorded crime showed no overall change, with 3.7 million offences recorded.
Renewed focusses on the quality of crime recording was noted to have led to more crimes being recorded than previously.
Police recorded figures for violence against the person (up 16%), public order offences (up 10%) and sexual offences (up 22%).
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Davies said: “In Lincolnshire Police we are keen to see reductions in recorded crime as they give us encouragement that our efforts, along with those of partners, are helping to make the county ever safer.
“We have long had a high standard of integrity in our crime recording – as recently demonstrated independently by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary – so our figures are reliable.
“This year we are seeing a continued reduction in crime, which of course is to be welcomed. Within that, however, there are some areas which are not following the downward trend and of course those receive our close attention so that we can understand what is occurring, provide the best possible service to victims and reduce the risk to the public further.
“The still growing awareness of the threats to the public which often go unreported, such as online crimes, domestic or child abuse, or modern day slavery, mean that our recorded crime figures can never tell the whole story. Our efforts and those of our partners go towards reducing all types of risk to the safety of people who live or work in or visit Lincolnshire.
“Our officers and staff, our partners and our vigilant and active communities all deserve thanks for their efforts.”
MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney added: “We want Britain to be an even safer place for everyone who lives here. That’s why we are following an action plan to tackle crime.
“Thanks to our plan, and the hard work of police officers in our County, recorded crime since 2010 is down by 20% in Lincolnshire. Families are safer and more secure – and the City of Lincoln can enjoy a better, brighter future.”