The crime statistics for 2018 have today (Thursday, 25 April 2019) been published by the ONS and show a mixed picture both nationally and in South Yorkshire.

Overall, while crime nationally increased by 7%, in South Yorkshire there was a slight fall of 2%.

Crimes that have decreased in South Yorkshire include: sexual offences (-5%), thefts (-11%), criminal damage and arson (-12%).  Most significantly, knife crime and sharp instrument offences fell by 3%.

Crimes that have increased in South Yorkshire – such as violence against the person (13%), stalking and harassment (38%), possession of weapons (12%) and public order offences (8%) – have generally done so at rates that are less than the national and regional averages.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Any increase in crime is unwelcome news. However, South Yorkshire does seem to be bucking some of the national trends with significant falls in some crimes.

“I am particularly pleased to see that knife crimes fell albeit slightly by 3%. This is not the public perception because we tend to be over-influenced by the high profile reporting of a few incidents.

“We need to turn these latest figures for knife crimes into a trend and that will only happen if we can continue to get upstream of crime.

“We need to work with partners to get people off drugs and we need to work with schools to ensure young people understand the risks.

“Drug offences rose by 16% – more than the regional increase of 14%, but this is a crime that requires the proactive approach from the police in order to find and prosecute the perpetrators.

“The funding we are going to receive from the government will also enable the police to disrupt the gangs, especially those involved in drugs.

“But what we also need to notice and give more scrutiny to are the significant rises both locally and nationally in forms of psychological violence – stalking, harassment, domestic abuse and offences on social media. Increasingly the police are having to keep us safe on the internet as well as the streets.”

You can read the full report here.