‘Concerning’ rise in sexual offences across Burnley last year
More sexual offences were recorded in Burnley over the last year, amid a record high number of such crimes across England and Wales.
Lancashire Constabulary recorded 400 incidents of sexual offences in Burnley in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.
That was an increase of 21% compared to the previous year.
At 4.5 crimes per 1,000 people, that was slightly higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 3.1.
Around 6.1 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to December, including computer fraud and computer misuse.
This was up 8% from 5.6 million in 2020, but roughly the same number as recorded in the 12 months to March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of sex crimes logged by police across the two nations reached another record high in 2021.
Police forces recorded 183,587 rapes and sexual offences in the year to December 2021 – up 22% on 2020 (150,748), which was previously the highest annual figure to date.
Some 37% of sexual offences recorded (67,125) were rapes – a 21% rise from 55,592 in the 12 months to December 2020.
There was also a rise in domestic-abuse related crime in 2021, and stalking and harassment.
The ONS said the latest statistics may reflect a number of 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”.
It said the overall number of crimes recorded were lower during lockdowns but that there were “substantial increases" from April 2021, with certain offence types returning to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
The total number of offences in Burnley increased by 6%, with police recording 10,887 crimes over the course of the year.
This puts the overall crime rate at 121.9 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 85.5.
Other crimes recorded in Burnley included:
4,622 violent offences, a rise of 9% 2,735 theft offences, down 4% 1,487 incidents of criminal damage and arson, up 4% 110 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 29% 956 public order offences, up 21%