CASES of sexual and domestic abuse and violence have increased in North Wales.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), North Wales is now in the top 10 regions in England and Wales for rates of violence and sexual offences.
The ONS compiled crime statistics per 1,000 people for police force areas up until June 2021. North Wales was deemed to have the second-highest rate of crime overall in Wales, with 81.3 total crimes per 1,000 people respectively, just behind Gwent at 82.2
North Wales was also deemed to be the eighth-worst region for ‘violence against the person’ – and was ranked tenth in the UK for the most sex crimes.
Violent crime is up 11.2% and robbery 23.4% in North Wales this year, says North Wales’ Chief Constable.
Other worrying figures revealed sexual offences are up 8.3%, vehicle theft 14.8% and theft 8.3%.
Public order offences are up by 24.4%. The figures were taken from a table marked ‘Percent Change vs 2020/21’.
The figures were presented to North Wales Police and Crime Panel this week by Chief Constable Carl Foulkes.
There was some good news as he reported residential burglary decreasing by 3.3%, drug offences reducing by 11.2% and possession of a weapon dropping by 6.5%.
The Chief Constable said crime rates were difficult to compare to pre-COVID years.
“We are not chasing targets. We are all focused on doing the right thing for our community,” he said.
“Compared to last year, it is not a real year because if we remember what the pandemic and lockdown were like compared to 2018/2019….
“It (the graph) shows that overall crime in North Wales is still down. But around some key areas, we are facing some challenges. So with sexual offences, we have seen a rise. Domestic abuse, we have a rise. Violence against the person, we have seen a rise.”
But the chief constable said sex crimes had risen for two main reasons.
“We predicted a rise in sexual offences, partly because of COVID restrictions but also because of the focus that has been put on it nationally around sexual offences – and obviously the violence against women and girls that has been there,” he said.
Business and community burglary had increased by 8.1%; theft from a vehicle 5.4%; vehicle interference 12.2%; arson and criminal damage 6.8%; and miscellaneous crimes against society 2.9%. The previously mentioned ‘violent crime’ was specified as ‘violence against the person’ (11.2%) in the report.