TOUGH times are ahead in North Yorkshire as authorities fight to keep crime rates low, the Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed a fall in crime for the 12 months to December of two per cent, but showed an increase in violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery and bicycle theft.

Julia Mulligan said the figures were positive and among the lowest in England, but there was still work to be done. Commending officers and staff for their hard work and dedication, she said: “I will continue to work with the chief constable to ensure we have robust plans in place to continue to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our county. This will go hand in hand with a greater focus on the needs of victims.

“Maintaining North Yorkshire’s status as the safest county in England will be tough, especially being surrounded by seven counties with higher crime rates than ours. I am confident though that the chief constable has put solid plans in place to fight crime and antisocial behaviour, and we will continue to work together with our partners to prioritise the most vulnerable in our society.”