Lincolnshire is now the fourth safest place to live in England and Wales according to the newly released crime statistics.
Crimes recorded in the Office for National Statistics report include thefts, incidents of criminal damage, violence and public order offences.
Lincolnshire recorded 50.6 crimes per 1,000 people out of a population of 736,700. The lowest in England and Wales was 45.1 crimes per 1,000 people over a population of 515,900. North Kesteven has retained its title as the safest place to live in England and Wales for a fourth year running.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said: “Overall crime in Lincolnshire has followed the national trend by increasing but at a much lower rate. Police forces have on average seen an 11 per cent rise in crime where we have seen a four per cent increase. However, we are confident we will address this as our force is investing in better technology and improving our systems to aid the sharing of intelligence with neighbouring forces.
“When you look closer at the figures, there are some real positives. Nationally, knife-related crime has increased by 20 per cent, whereas in Lincolnshire these offences are down by 13 per cent and amount for just three per cent of our total offences. We’ve also seen local decreases in burglaries, thefts from people and public disorder compared with national increases.
“Where we have seen increases in crime they haven’t been at the same rate that they have done so nationally. This can be said for sexual offences which are up by one per cent in Lincolnshire but 14 per cent nationally. Lincolnshire Police is committed to working well with victims of all crime but particularly sexual crime. This increase may actually show a greater trust in the way we support victims.
“Possession of weapons is 17 per cent below the national average – as are robbery offences by eight per cent and drugs trafficking by 10 per cent. Shoplifting is actually one of the only crimes that is higher in Lincolnshire which is by one per cent.
“On the whole we are pleased with the report and its good news for our residents who have officers and staff that work tirelessly to keep them safe. Crimes that are committed in our county will continue to be investigated thoroughly and the public can and do play a massive part in helping us solve cases and prevent incidents in the first place.
“This is at the very heart of our operations so please continue to report information on any crime by calling 101. Anonymous reporting is also available by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also report a crime online by visiting www.lincs.police.uk.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Police, Marc Jones, said: “It is a cause of great pride that Lincolnshire remains one of the safest counties in England and Wales and is testament to the dedication and commitment of those people who work to keep our communities safe.
“Nevertheless we face some real challenges. We are already one of the lowest funded forces in the UK and with the future grant levels still in doubt we are looking at a substantial shortfall in our budgets for the years ahead.
“Myself and the force’s senior officer team are absolutely committed to keeping this county one of the safest in the country but that task is only going to get tougher.”