New figures confirm North Wales has one of the highest rates of sex crimes in the UK
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
New crime figures have confimed increases of sexual and domestic abuse and violence across North Wales.
Violent crime increased by 11.2% in 2021 compared to 2020 and sexual offences increased by 8.3%.
Robbery jumped by 23.4%, vehicle theft increased by 14.8% and theft was up 8.3%.
Public order offences also rose by 24.4% year on year.
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.
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%.
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.
The figures were presented to North Wales Police and Crime Panel this week by Chief Constable Carl Foulkes.
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 seen 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.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.