Overall levels of crime have fallen across West Yorkshire, but reports of rape and other sexual offences have risen by a fifth over the past year.
Figures compiled by the Office of National Statistics show that there were 6,652 incidents brought to the force’s attention over the 12 month period.
There was a particularly steep increase in the Bradford area, where the number of rapes and other sexual offences reported rose by 16 per cent.
Officers believe that the increase is partly because victims are more willing to get in touch about historical allegations. This trend has been seen across the country in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
By contrast, other types of crime have fallen noticeably, including drug offences (down 15 per cent), robbery (down 10 per cent) and criminal damage (down nine per cent).
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Once again, these figures demonstrate that police officers and staff are working incredibly hard to help bring down crime across the county.
“It is important to note in the context of these figures that we know there are some issues with crime recording that West Yorkshire Police are working to resolve, as highlighted in the HMIC report on crime data integrity recently.
“But that doesn’t take away from the overall trend that crime has reduced despite damaging government cuts of at least 30 per cent by 2016/17 and the many challenges we all face.”
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