North Yorkshire is the safest county in the country
North Yorkshire remains the safest place in England and Wales, with crime figures falling across the county last year.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report “Crime in England and Wales: year ending December 2020” shows a crime rate of just 49.9 per 1,000 people – the lowest rate in the country, and far below the national rate of 80.8.
North Yorkshire is the only police force area in the country that fell below 50. Overall, total recorded crime in North Yorkshire and York fell by 13 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. Across England and Wales, the decrease was 10 per cent.
There were fluctuations in the level of crime throughout 2020, the majority of which can be attributed to the introduction and easing of national lockdown restrictions.
Broken down into categories, the figures show that sexual offences decreased by 18 per cent compared to 2019, while robbery dropped 12 per cent, theft by 31 per cent (including a 35 per cent fall in burglary and a 16 per cent fall in bicycle theft), criminal damage and arson by nine per cent, and violence against the person by two per cent.
The categories that saw an increase include public order offences, up 12 per cent, drug offences by 11 per cent and possession of weapons offences up 28 per cent. The latter two increases reflect the force’s proactive approach to dealing with issues such as county lines and knife crime.
Chief Constable Lisa Winward, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “2020 was an extremely challenging year, but exceptional situations call for an exceptional response – and officers, staff and volunteers across the force have shown a level of commitment, professionalism and diligence that is nothing short of incredible. Clearly, national lockdown restrictions had a significant effect on levels of crime throughout last year, but it’s encouraging to know that our area remains the safest place in the country. We couldn’t have achieved this without the confidence of the people we serve.”
North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott thanked police officers and staff and said he would be looking to tackle stalking and harassment and drug offences as a priority.