A 44% increase in sexual offences has been reported in Lincolnshire in just one year, according to the latest annual data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), published on Thursday, January 21, 2016 revealed the number of crimes reported by police forces in the country in the year ending September 2015, compared with the previous year.
While overall crime in Lincolnshire had dropped by 1%, reflecting a 21% fall since 2010, positive trends were marred by the steep rise in sex crimes.
Lincolnshire has marked reductions in the number of thefts, burglaries and drug offences, however they were almost completely balanced out by rises in other areas.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Gibson, Head of Crime Support at Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are pleased that overall recorded crime in Lincolnshire continues to fall (down by 1% in the year to September 2015) which bucks the general national trend of increases.
“Our countywide Operation Nova (say NO to Violence and Abuse) is specifically targeting violent crime and we are confident that our multi-agency efforts in this area will result in returning to a reducing trend for the next period of reporting from the 9% increase reported today. However, it is important to emphasise that Lincolnshire has one of the lowest recorded rates of violent crime in the Country.
“Like most forces we are experiencing an increase in reported sexual offences. A large proportion of this is as a result of the widespread and national publicity about historical sex abuse which is encouraging people to report such crimes more readily than they would have done before.
“We have already made announcements that we are changing our policing model to put more resources into protecting vulnerable people, which includes further investment in child sexual exploitation, on-line grooming, cyber-crime and other emerging crime areas.
“There are also welcome reductions in theft and house burglary which have contributed to the overall reduction in recorded crime in Lincolnshire.”
Sexual offences recorded by the police rose across England and Wales with the latest figures up 36% on the previous year; equivalent to an additional 26,606 offences.
The report noted:
“The numbers of rapes (33,431) and other sexual offences (66,178) were at the highest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in the year ending March 2003.
“As well as improvements in recording, this is also thought to reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes.”
Conservative candidate for Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, has welcomed news that crime has fallen by more than a quarter since 2010.
He said in a statement: “In Lincolnshire crime recorded by the police has fallen by 21%. This is good news for Lincolnshire making it a safer place to live, work and raise a family.
“These figures show that cutting crime is not about more money, it is about improving our police. That is why we need a PCC who will make every penny of taxpayers’ money count – to reform the police and to make our community safer.”