Crime has fallen over the last year in Wiltshire, official police records reveal.

Wiltshire Police recorded 23,892 offences in Wiltshire in the 12 months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was a decrease of 10% compared to the previous year, when there were 26,557.

At 48 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 83.

Crimes recorded in Wiltshire included:

  • 874 sexual offences, a decrease of 12%
  • 9,374 violent offences, a decrease of 1%
  • 2,928 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 21%
  • 936 drug offences, up 27%
  • 167 possession of weapons, e.g. firearms or knives, down 13%
  • 2,035 public order offences, up 24%
  • 6,926 theft offences, down 25%

Overall, police recorded 6% fewer crimes across England and Wales – there were around 5.7 million offences in the year to September. The ONS said this was driven by substantial falls in the three months to June, particularly in theft offences. But separate figures from its Crime Survey for England and Wales show the estimated number of victims of crime in the three months to September were similar to levels seen in the run-up to the pandemic.

Helen Ross, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown restrictions have resulted in fluctuations in the level of crime experienced in England and Wales.

“Data from the survey showed decreases in crime at the start of the pandemic, with rises seen over the summer months, specifically in theft, following the easing of lockdown measures, with overall crime now back at pre-lockdown levels of January to March 2020.

“There were also fluctuations in police recorded crime, but total recorded offences for July to September 2020 were below that seen in the same period in 2019.”

The ONS said an annual 3% drop in recorded knife crime across England and Wales was largely down to a 22% decrease in April to June. However, this was followed by a sharp increase in the three months to September.


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