Figures reveal crime in Burnley above national average

Crime has risen over the last year in Burnley and remains above the national average, official police records reveal.

But with no official crime statistics yet published for the coronavirus lockdown period, police chiefs say their own figures show overall crime remains far below normal levels.

Lancashire Constabulary recorded 10,921 offences in Burnley in the 12 months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics. That was an increase of 16% compared to the previous year, when there were 12,654.

At 123 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 89.

Crime figures for Burnley have been released

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Crimes recorded in Burnley included:

342 sexual offences, a decrease of 15%

4,193 violent offences, a decrease of 9%

1,394 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 18%

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197 drug offences, up 19%

58 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, up 2%

789 public order offences, down 35%

3,615 theft offences, down 14%

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The ONS said crime figures were largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, as the period covered was mostly pre-lockdown.

The National Police Chiefs' Council says its own provisional figures, which cover the four weeks to July 5th, show crime has fallen by 14% compared to the same period last year.

This was the fourth update in crime trends the council has released since the beginning of lockdown restrictions, with this month's figures showing the smallest year-on-year drop so far.

Previous updates had shown recorded crime was down by 28% for the four weeks to April 12th, 25% down for the four weeks to May 10th, and 18% down in the four weeks to June 7th.

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While marked reductions were seen in residential burglaries, rape, vehicle crime and shoplifting, incidents of domestic abuse rose by 6%.

NPCC lead for crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: “The vast majority of the public continue to follow the rules in place to limit the spread of the virus, and as a result, we have seen sustained reductions in crime over the course of the lockdown period.

"It is no surprise that as more people are able to move around freely, we will begin to see movement towards previous levels. However, this is a gradual change."

Previous reductions in reports of rape appeared to be slowing, he added, suggesting they may soon return to 2019 levels.

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He said: "This is likely to be a combination of increased opportunities for wider social contact and easing of restrictions, making it easier for victims to report rape and assault.

“Please report to us if you have been a victim of rape, assault or domestic abuse – wherever or whenever it happened. We will do all we can to investigate and there are many excellent organisations who can provide support and advice."