VIOLENT crime has risen in York over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

North Yorkshire Police recorded 4,576 incidents of violent crime in York in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of three per cent compared to the previous year.

At 21.7 crimes per 1,000 people, that was lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 31.6.

One of the main factors behind the increase in York was the rise in stalking and harassment, which rose by 30 per cent, from 988 incidents to 1,281.

Around 5.8 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to June – in line with the previous year – though there was a three per cent decrease to 4.9 million offences when excluding fraud and computer misuse.

Nick Stripe, head of crime statistics at the ONS, said the figures showed overall reductions in the reporting and recording of many crime types during periods of lockdown.

However, reports of fraud and hacking continued to rise – something the ONS previously suggested was due to criminals taking advantage of behavioural changes during the pandemic, while many took to online shopping amid lockdowns when there were restrictions on movement.

The total number of offences in York fell by seven per cent, with police recording 11,779 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 55.8 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 81.3.

Other crimes recorded in York included:

  •  437 sexual offences, a rise of one per cent
  •  3,396 theft offences, down 27 per cent
  •  1,420 incidents of criminal damage and arson, up nine per cent
  •  473 drug offences, down five per cent
  •  101 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 29 per cent
  •  1,077 public order offences, up 17 per cent

The ONS figures show 61,158 rapes were recorded across England and Wales in the 12 months to June – the highest recorded annual figure to date, and up by 10 per cent from 55,779 the year before.

The second-highest number of sexual offences was also recorded over the period (164,763) – an eight per cent increase on the previous year.

The ONS urged caution when interpreting the data.

Mr Stripe added: “The rise could be due to an increase in victim reporting as lockdowns eased, an increase in the number of victims, or to an increase in victims’ willingness to report incidents, potentially as a result of high-profile cases and campaigns in recent times.”

Jeffrey DeMarco, of Victim Support, said: “More needs to be done urgently to tackle both these offences and to ensure that those who come forward and report them are able to access justice.” North Yorkshire Police was asked for a comment.