Crime: Rise in violent injury in North Hertfordshire, but sexual offences down by 15 per cent

Police recorded over 2,500 incidents of violent crime in North Hertfordshire last year. Picture: Joe

Police recorded over 2,500 incidents of violent crime in North Hertfordshire last year. Picture: Joe Giddens - Credit: PA

Violent crime has risen in North Hertfordshire over the last year, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

But with no official crime statistics yet published for the coronavirus lockdown period, police chiefs say their own figures will show overall crime is far below normal levels.

Herts police recorded 2,704 incidents of violent crime in North Hertfordshire in the 12 months to March – an increase of nine per cent on the previous year.

One of the main factors behind the increase was the rise in violence with injury, which increased by 10 per cent to 912 incidents.

There was also one homicide – a category which includes murders and manslaughters, and 558 cases of stalking or harassment, compared to 536 the previous year.

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Nationally, police recorded three per cent more crime across England and Wales last year – though the overall number of offences in North Hertfordshire fell by four per cent.

North Herts police recorded 7,577 crimes over the course of the year. This puts the overall crime rate at 56.9 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 88.9.

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Other crime figures recorded in North Hertfordshire include:

• 219 sexual offences, a decrease of 15 per cent

• 2,679 theft offences, down 16 per cent

• 922 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down two per cent

• 236 drug offences, up 12 per cent

• 72 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 53 per cent

• 523 public order offences, down four per cent

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