CRIME rose by five percent in Dorset in the 12 months ending June 2022, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows the number of estimated crimes compared to the previous 12 months – when much of the country was still experiencing lockdown and other restrictive rules due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The numbers show the largest increases were in sexual offences (22 per cent) and theft from the person (22 per cent), followed by robbery (14 per cent) and miscellaneous crime (14 per cent).
Areas where crime fell included bicycle theft (-21 per cent) and non-residential burglary (-18 per cent).
The figures mean Dorset is ranked the sixth safest area in England and Wales, based on crime, with a national average crime increase of 12.5 per cent.
David Sidwick, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, said the increase was predicted due to the restrictions in place during the previous 12 months.
“I am really pleased to see that Dorset has gone up to sixth in the ratings for being one of the safest counties in England and Wales,” he said. “It is my aim to make Dorset the safest county and so seeing us go up in the ratings is both validation for the work that is happening in the county and good news for the people of Dorset.
“Despite crime figures going up, I am pleased to see that they are less than half the rate of the national average here in Dorset, with reductions in crime across many of the areas directly related to my police and crime plan, including stalking and harassment and anti-social behaviour.
“I am particularly pleased to note that there has also been a considerable drop in both business crime and community crime over the last year. I would like to thank all the officers, staff and volunteers involved in keeping our residents and communities safe and I vow to continue to work alongside the chief constable, as well as all our other invaluable stakeholder partners to make Dorset the safest county.”
Elsewhere, the figures show drug offences were down 16 percent, although residential burglary increased by nine per cent.
Chief Constable Scott Chilton, pictured, said: “Dorset continues to be one of the safest counties in the country to live and visit and the rise in crime experienced here post Covid-19 pandemic, compared to other parts of the country, has seen the force move up another place to be the sixth safest area in England and Wales.
“We will continue to strive to be the safest county in the country and remain driven to relentlessly pursue those criminals who cause the most harm to our communities, keeping people safe and putting victims first.”
“In the past 18 months, Dorset has moved from nineth safest county to sixth safest.
“We are seeing less crime, bringing more offenders to justice, reducing anti-social behaviour and seeing reductions in community and business crime.”