Huge rise in violent crime figures partly down to better reporting, say South Yorkshire Police

South Yorkshire Police says many hidden crimes are under-reported
South Yorkshire Police says many hidden crimes are under-reported

Police in South Yorkshire say a huge rise in the number of violent crimes being recorded is partly down to better reporting.

The amount of violent offences logged by South Yorkshire Police last year was up by nearly a third (30 per cent) from 2015, latest figures show.

Robbery in the region was also up, by 25 per cent, and there was a 46 per cent increase in possession of weapons offences recorded, annual crime figures published by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

The total number of crimes reported in South Yorkshire rose by 13 per cent year-on-year, to 111,666, compared with a national average of 10 per cent.

But drug offences fell by 12 per cent and the one per cent increase in theft from a person was well below the national average of six per cent.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: "In many cases, our local figures reflect the wider national picture, in which crime is on the increase across the board.

"The figures for South Yorkshire show that, during the year, recorded overall drug offences fell by 12 percent. Theft from a person is one percent below the national average, while the figure for criminal damage is the same as the national average.

"However, the overall number of crimes that we are recording is rising, and while this reflects the national picture, we know that we still have a lot of work to do to reduce and prevent crime, and to protect the public.

"A large part of the increase in the figures for under-reported and under-recorded crimes, particularly violent crime and sexual offences, is due to the efforts that we have made across the force to improve crime data integrity, which ensures that crimes are being recorded when they should be and categorised correctly. If a someone tells us that they have been the victim of a crime, it will be recorded and treated as such.

"Towards the end of last year, we launched a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, and to build confidence among domestic abuse victims to come forward and report their abuse to us. This is one of the several campaigns that we are currently running to improve the way that we protect, safeguard and support the most vulnerable members of our communities.

"And while the domestic abuse campaign may account for part of the increase in the figures, we know that hidden crime, such as domestic abuse, hate crime and modern slavery, is still under reported. So we encourage anyone affected by these crimes to come forward and tell us about them."

There were 81.2 crimes last year per 1,000 people in South Yorkshire, which has a population of 1.37 million. That figure - which equates to one crime for every 12 people in the region - is slightly lower than the 83.9 for Yorkshire and the Humber as a whole, but well above the national average of 71.9.

Across England and Wales, total crime was up by 10 per cent and violent crimes by just under a fifth (19 per cent). Non-domestic burglary (-2 per cent) and drug offences (-8 per cent) were the only crimes to fall nationally.

South Yorkshire crime figures 2016 (percentage change from 2015)

Total offences (excluding fraud): 111,666 (+13)

Violence against the person: 24,566 (+30)

Homicide: 111 (-)

Violence with injury: 12,227 (+14)

Violence without injury: 12,228 (+49)

Sexual offences: 3,303 (+14)

Robbery: 1,285 (+25)

Theft offences: 54,257 (+7)

Burglary: 13,295 (+5)

Domestic burglary: 6,814 (+10)

Non-domestic burglary: 6,481 (0)

Vehicle offences: 12,861 (+15)

Theft from the person: 1,708 (+1)

Bicycle theft: 1,229 (0)

Shoplifting: 11,830 (+9)

Other theft: 13,334 (+1)

Criminal damage and arson: 18,002 (6)

Drug offences: 2,379 (-12)

Possession of weapons: 970 (+46)

Public order offences: 4,843 (+47)

Miscellaneous crimes: 2,061 (33)