The latest statistics for recorded crime have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). There have been recorded increases in most crime types across South Yorkshire as levels return to those seen before the pandemic, although there has been a decrease in drug offences.
Commenting on the figures, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Dr Alan Billings said: “The statistics compare recorded crime for 2022 with the previous year, 2021. However, the 2021 figures were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic when crime fell dramatically. It is, therefore, not easy to compare a post pandemic year with a pandemic year and hard to draw many conclusions from them.
“Overall, crime (excluding fraud) rose during this period. We could see this as a return to pre-pandemic levels, though in some cases those levels have not been reached.
“Drugs offences were one crime type where there was a fall. While this 10% reduction is welcome, it may indicate that there was less police activity rather than an actual fall.
“The area where I have most concern is firearms offences – up by 42%. This is an increase from 228 offences to 324. This is higher than the 21% increase in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and much higher than the figure for England and Wales as a whole at 11%. This is concerning and illustrates the importance of the work that the police Armed Crime team are doing.
“Although the statistics show that knife crime increased by 8%, this is comparing 2022 with a year in which knife crime fell during the period of coronavirus restrictions. If we compare 2022 with pre-coronavirus levels, knife crime fell by 2%.
“As crime begins to return to pre-pandemic levels, we need the additional officers that are becoming available to bear down on crime. They will not all be in high visibility jackets in neighbourhoods, however. If crimes are to be solved, South Yorkshire needs more detectives to investigate crime, and these officers are not visible.
“Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour remains one of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.”
Below are the crime types according to whether they increased or decreased in the 12 months January 2022 to December 2022 compared with January 2021 to December 2021 across South Yorkshire.
- Firearms Offences (42%) (from 228 offences to 324 offences)
- Possession of Weapons (22%)
- Theft (22%)
- Robbery (18%)
- Residential Burglary (16%)
- Overall Crime (excluding fraud) (12%)
- Violence Against the Person (10%)
- Public Order Offences (9%)
- Criminal Damage and Arson (9%)
- Knife and sharp instrument offences (8%)
- Stalking and harassment (7%)
- Sexual Offences (5%)
- Crimes Against Society (2%)
- Drug offences (-10%)
The ONS report for England and Wales can be viewed here: Crime in England and Wales: Police Force Area data tables – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)