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More people in Devon and Cornwall reporting sexual offences, ONS figures reveal

Greater public awareness of crimes against women and girls may be responsible for a rise in women coming forward to report violent and sexual offences, according to Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

More people in Devon and Cornwall reporting sexual offences, ONS figures reveal

Devon and Cornwall Police saw a 15.5% increase in sexual offences for the year ending September 2021, figures released by the Office of National Statistics today (Thursday, January 27) reveal.

The report also shows that there was a 5.6% rise in the reporting of violent crimes and a 13.0% rise in public order offences.

The force area maintained its position as the third safest in England and Wales, with 53.6 crimes reported in the year per 1,000 people.

There were reductions in burglary (-23.9%), robbery (-17.4%), criminal damage and arson (-3.4%) and bicycle theft (-25.9%).

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “These figures cover the period when there was justifiable public outrage at the murder of Sarah Everard in London and the trial of the murderer of Lorraine Cox here in Devon and Cornwall. This placed violence against women and girls at the top of the national agenda. 

“If these high-profile cases have caused more women and girls to reflect on incidents and the confidence to come forward to report offences both recent and historic then that is to be welcomed. It is good to see that the force remains one of the safest places to live in the country.

“Our plans to reduce violence, help more people live crime-free lives and provide world class services for victims are designed to make it even safer.”

If you have been a victim of crime please report it to police, in an emergency call 999 or in a non emergency call 101, webchat or email the police via devon-cornwall.police.uk. Alternatively, to stay 100% anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.

Victims of Crime can get free expert advice 24 hours a day from Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 or via victimsupport.org.uk.