Sex crimes up nearly a fifth

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Sex crimes in Lancashire soared nearly 18 per cent in a year, new figures show.

Between July 2012 and June of this year, 1,738 sexual offences were recorded - an increase of 261 crimes – or 17.7 per cent – up from 1,477.

Lancashire Police said despite this, reported crime continued to fall across the county with the data showing there were 4,088 fewer victims last year. Overall, the number of crime reports fell 4.3 per cent from 95,692 to 91,604 compared to the previous year.

The figures showed a 17.4 per cent reduction in drug offences, from 4,793 to 3,961, criminal damage down nine per cent from 18,232 to 16,589 and robberies down by 7.5 per cent from 679 to 628.

Lancashire’s crime detection rate is the second highest in the North West and ninth highest in England and Wales at 36 per cent.

Assistant chief constable Mark Bates said: “We are putting the increase in sexual offences down to the public feeling more confident about reporting these types of incidents to us, especially given the publicity in the media around high profile cases.”