Latest crime figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that Devon and Cornwall continues to be one of the safest places to live, work and visit in England.

The two counties have the second lowest total crime rate in England according to ONS figures that span between March 2021 and 2022, which ranks all 42 police forces in the country.

The statistics reports that there was a 12.2% increase in recorded crime with 56.8 crimes per 1,000 population. Which the force suggests is 'due to crime returning to pre covid levels and follows national trends'.

Some aspects of crime have risen both in Devon and Cornwall and nationally including sexual offences which have risen locally by 29.5%. Nationally, policing has seen increases in rape and sexual offences starting in March 2021.

This coincided with the ending of lockdown and an increased focus on Violence Against Women and Girls – factors that have driven an increased confidence to report sexual offending among victims in Devon and Cornwall.

The statistics also show possession of weapon offences has also increased by 8%, although the overall crime rate per population is low, at 0.7 offences per 1,000 population.

Schemes such as Operation Scorpion, which involves police forces from five regions and aims create a hostile environment for drug dealers in the area, have recovered weapons in their seizures. As such, this recovery will lead to an increased amount of cases of possession of weapon offences but does mean the weapons are now off the streets.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly, said: “While I am pleased to see relatively low levels of recorded incidents for the area, and these figures remind us of how lucky we are to live here, we must remain committed to encouraging more people to report crime, so we have a more accurate picture of offending in the force area.

“We know crimes like shoplifting and sexual offences are still under-reported and I would encourage victims to come forward so we can offer them the help and support they need. With the Government uplift and monies from our local communities Devon and Cornwall Police is able to reach record officer numbers and is in a strong position to be able to respond to and prevent crime, but we cannot do that without the support and engagement of the communities we serve.”