Rise in sexual offences in Knowsley

More sexual offences were recorded in Knowsley over the last year, amid a record high number of such crimes across England and Wales.

File photo dated 22/10/14 of a Police officer, as according to new figures, some of the UK's biggest police forces have recorded a rise in the number of violent homophobic crimes this year, with hundreds of assaults on gay and lesbian people reported to police so far in 2014 - including more than 300 in London alone. Scotland Yard recorded 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October, up from 1,007 in 2013 and 1,002 in 2012.

More sexual offences were recorded in Knowsley over the last year, amid a record high number of such crimes across England and Wales.

Merseyside Police recorded 380 incidents of sexual offences in Knowsley in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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That was an increase of 22% compared to the previous year.

At 2.5 crimes per 1,000 people, that was slightly lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 3.1.

Around 6.1 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to December, including computer fraud and computer misuse.

This was up 8% from 5.6 million in 2020, but roughly the same number as recorded in the 12 months to March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of sex crimes logged by police across the two nations reached another record high in 2021.

Police forces recorded 183,587 rapes and sexual offences in the year to December 2021 – up 22% on 2020 (150,748), which was previously the highest annual figure to date.

Some 37% of sexual offences recorded (67,125) were rapes – a 21% rise from 55,592 in the 12 months to December 2020.

There was also a rise in domestic-abuse related crime in 2021, and stalking and harassment.

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said she was "seriously concerned" by the latest figures.

She added: “Sadly, these figures reflect what we’re seeing – the number of sexual violence cases referred to us have increased by a third since before the pandemic.

“We also know that court delays for victims of sexual violence are at an all-time high – this is a worrying combination."

The ONS said the latest statistics may reflect a number of factors, including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”.

It said the overall number of crimes recorded were lower during lockdowns but that there were “substantial increases" from April 2021, with certain offence types returning to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

The total number of offences in Knowsley increased by 16%, with police recording 15,408 crimes over the course of the year.

This puts the overall crime rate at 101.1 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 85.5.

Other crimes recorded in Knowsley included:

6,780 violent offences, a rise of 23%2,415 theft offences, down 5%1,696 incidents of criminal damage and arson, up 2%135 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, down 11%2,129 public order offences, up 46%