The Crime Statistics have been published today, (Thursday, 24 January 2019) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“Last year the overall crime level increased slightly in South Yorkshire by 1%.  But this was far lower than the national increase of 8% for England and Wales, and far less than the Yorkshire and Humber increase of 9%.

“It is especially pleasing to see that knife crime was down in South Yorkshire by 12%. South Yorkshire Police have been working very hard with partners to understand why young males in particular have been carrying knives and to find ways of reducing this.

“We have all been working very hard with partners – the schools, the local authorities and the voluntary bodies – to help young people understand the dangers of carrying blades.

“There has been a more sophisticated approach – helping young people to get away from involvement with drugs and gangs, but also targeting known offenders and increasing stop and search. This is putting into action what a previous Labour Prime Minister called ‘Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’.

“Other crime categories were also down in South Yorkshire – such as robbery and theft – whereas nationally they showed significant increases. Criminal damage and arson was also down.

“But some other categories showed increases both in South Yorkshire and nationally – such as stalking and harassment (47%), sexual offences (4%), violence against the person (17%). Some of this may be due to better recording and reporting, but the police will need to work hard to understand why there are these increases and what can be done to reduce them.

“Overall this shows a police force that is beginning to get on top of some of the issues that blight our communities, despite years of austerity and cuts to police numbers.”