Sex offences increase by 20% despite fall in total crime.
More sexual offences were recorded in East Hampshire over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded crime.
Hampshire Constabulary recorded 213 incidents of sexual offences in East Hampshire in the 12 months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.
That was an increase of 19% compared to the previous year.
At 1.7 crimes per 1,000 people, that was slightly lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 2.9.
Around 5.8 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to September – a 2% rise compared to the previous year – though there was a 1% drop to 4.9 million offences when excluding cases of fraud and computer misuse.
Police forces across the two nations logged the highest number of rapes and sexual offences in a 12-month period in the year to September, the figures show.
Around 63,100 rapes were recorded in the year to September, according to the Office for National Statistics, up 13% from the previous period (56,100).
This was the highest recorded annual figure to date and included 17,400 offences between July and September – the highest quarterly figure.
The ONS said the latest figures may reflect several factors, including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”, and it urged caution when interpreting the data.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Nobody should have to experience the horror of rape and other sexual crimes.
“It’s encouraging that more victims of sexual violence are coming forward, and we’ve been clear that police must raise the bar in handling such cases so victims know that they will be taken seriously and criminals responsible are put behind bars.”
The total number of offences in East Hampshire fell by 2%, with police recording 5,722 crimes over the course of the year.
This puts the overall crime rate at 46.2 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 82.4.
Other crimes recorded in East Hampshire included:
- 2,281 violent offences, a rise of 6%
- 1,427 theft offences, down 21%
- 672 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 11%
- 78 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up six
- 733 public order offences, up 24%
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