Big Falls in Crime Across South Yorkshire in 2020

Figures released today by the Office of National Statistics show that total police recorded crime has fallen in South Yorkshire by eight per cent, which is in line with national figures.

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has described the figures as ‘encouraging’ but has warned against complacency as the figures reflect the periods of lockdown.

He said: “We should be cautious when considering recorded crime figures. This is especially true when looking at the January to December 2020 figures, when the lockdowns impacted on particular crimes. Burglars, for instance, were too visible on the empty streets to go out.

“Nevertheless, these figures are very encouraging.”

Last year in South Yorkshire recorded crime fell by 8% overall with some particular crimes falling by record amounts. Residential burglaries were down 24%, robberies fell by 16%, thefts by 25% and sexual offences by 7%.

Dr Billings added: “Particularly striking is the fall in knife crimes by 12%.

“Knife crimes, especially those that result in a fatality, are rare, but they tend to make headlines because they cause such distress to families and communities.

“The public should be reassured that South Yorkshire police are getting on top of knife crime and our communities are safe.

“Other crimes have increased, but some of those figures need careful interpreting. For instance, recorded drug offences have increased by 31%, but this means that the police were very proactive during the lockdowns and made many arrests.

“I welcome this activity because drug dealing blights too many individual lives and the life of communities.

“As we put more police officers on the streets I expect the police to come down hard on the gangs and get drugs off our streets.”

One area where crime have increased is incidents of harassment and stalking, where there has been a rise of 12%.

Dr Billings said: “This increase is something we shall need to understand and deal with and I will be asking the new Chief Constable to look closely at this and to report back to me at my Public Accountability Board meetings.

“We have made a good start in that respect in having a victim support advocate for the most complex of cases and recruitment is now underway for someone to take on most of the support of non-domestic victims, working closely with the police.

“Overall, these are encouraging statistics and indicate that the police are delivering the results we all want to see.”