FALMOUTH police have responded to figures released yesterday which showed an increase in crime by a quarter from last year.

The town was given special status to monitor the impact of licensed premises and was designated as a cumulative impact zone (CIZ) along with Truro, Newquay and Penzance.

A spokesman for the force said: “The main rise seen in the figures relate to the recording of violent crime and public order.

"We now record every report, and due to new guidelines, the mass of reported ‘dog bites/dog out of control’ offences are recorded under the violent crime figures. Throughout the year, new crime recording practices have slightly inflated violent crime figures."

Crime has increased by 26.5 per cent compared to last year, while crime taking place, with daytime incidents going up by 50 per cent and night time incidents up 17.1 per cent.

There was a 600 per cent increase on Tuesday evenings and a 66.7 per cent reduction during Wednesday daytime.

The spokesman added: “During this period we carried out pro-active operations to deter street drinkers, and used a policy of positive action in every case, meaning that every public order offence or scuffle (where there is no victim) was recorded under the Public Order banner.

"We succeeded in our goal of preventing unsocial drinking, but the local policy would again have swelled recorded Public Order Offences (as we did not have that policy in 2016/2017).

“It is also prudent to mention that when dealing with relatively small numbers of offences, a 26.5 per cent rise could equate to one or two extra offences in real terms.

“In this specific case the 26.5 per cent equates to 26 total crimes in the year period (98 in 2016/2017 as opposed to 124 2017/2018) which can be explained by the new crime recording practices and accounting rules."

The spokesman added that the 600 per cent spike on Tuesday evenings represented an increase from just one crime to seven.

“Officers work hard within the town and maintain an open dialogue with the community. Falmouth remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Cornwall Council, alongside the police and the Safer Cornwall Partnership, monitors the impact that licensed premises have on the towns.

The figures, provided by the police, cover all violent crime, sexual offences, robbery, public order and drunkenness incidents.

In order to monitor the impact of licensed premises the figures separate incidents which are reported during the day – from 7am to 7pm – and in the evening.

The council's licensing committee will meet on Monday (June 18) to consider the review of the CIZs.