Cheshire Chief Constable Mark Roberts

Cheshire has seen a large increase in the number of reported sex offences, latest crime statistics reveal.

But at the same time, the county has seen a drop in burglaries, drug offences and murders.

The Office for National Statistics data released today shows Cheshire Constabulary has seen the highest reduction rate in murders in the UK and has the lowest rate of murder in the country.

But there has been an almost 30% increase in reports of sexual offences, with reports of rape also increasing by 21%.

And in Cheshire there has been an 8% increase in overall crime, but this lower than the national average which has risen by 15.7%.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts (pictured) said: “Cheshire is a safe county, and these latest statistics highlight this, particularly in the most serious of crimes.

“The national increase in sexual offences is concerning but it is encouraging that people are more confident than ever to come forward and make reports so that we can support them and bring offenders to justice.

“Whilst there is more to be done, Cheshire is one of the best performing forces in the country for investigating and charging offenders in cases of serious sexual offences.”

ONS data, which compares crime figures from April-March 2020-21 to April-March 2021-22, shows murders have decreased by more than 80%, above the national average for England and Wales of 25% decrease.

The figures reveal that the force has seen reduction a 5.3% in the number of burglaries and a 19.7% reduction in the number of drugs offences.

Chief Constable Roberts added: “Our officers and staff work day in and out to ensure that Cheshire is a safe place to live, work and visit – this is evident in the figures released today.

“Our homicide rates are the best in the country and the most recent figures also show that we have the highest homicide charge rate nationally.

“Although we have seen a slight increase on reported crime, the force is outperforming national averages and its neighbours – but we are not finished yet.

“We will keep pushing, looking for those intent on coming into Cheshire to commit crime and ensuring that they feel the full force of the law against them, making our area the most hostile place for criminals to operate.”

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