The latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that firearms offences fell by 27% in South Yorkshire – in the 12 months to December 2021.
Crimes including possession of weapons, residential burglary, theft and drug offences also saw a decrease.
Commenting on the statistics, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings said: “It is hard to compare this period in 2021 with the same period the year before because in 2020 we were still subject to Covid restrictions and this led to reductions in some crime types. Overall crime has been going up across the country – by 6% – but less so in South Yorkshire – by 4%.
“However, I welcome the dramatic reduction in Firearms offences which fell by 27%. This was a significant fall.
“I also welcome the fall in possessions of weapons (-7%), residential burglary (-4%), theft (-2%) and drug offences (-2%). The fall in weapons possession is particularly welcome because in the country as a whole these crimes rose.
“But the increase in sexual offences by 9% was worrying, even though this was much less than in the rest of the country where sexual offences rose by a staggering 22%.”
Dr Billings added: “Stalking and harassment has shown no increase in South Yorkshire during this period while elsewhere in England and Wales they increased by 21%. We need to understand whether that is because this crime is being managed better in SY or because people are less confident about approaching the police.
“Overall, there are ups and downs in the figures, but because we are comparing the last three months of 2021 with the year before when there were restrictions due to coronavirus, these are not the most meaningful comparisons.”
Below are the crime types according to whether they increased or decreased in the 12 months to December 2021:
- Firearm Offences (-27%)
- Possession of Weapons (-7%)
- Residential burglary (-4%)
- Theft (-2%)
- Drug offences (-2%)
- Violence against the person (11%)
- Sexual Offences (9%)
- Robbery (7%)
- Criminal Damage and Arson (6%)
- Overall Crime (4%)
- Knife Crime (4%)
- Public Order Offences (4%)
- Crimes against society (3%)