CRIME has fallen slightly in North Yorkshire, with the region declared among the safest in the United Kingdom.

Figures released yesterday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), showed there had been 34,462 crimes (excluding fraud), reported to North Yorkshire Police in 2013/14, down from the previous year by 0.1 per cent, but down from 47,940 in 2009, a fall of 13,478 in five years,

Including fraud, crime had fallen by two per cent.

The figures showed increases in violence, sexual offences, shoplifting and public order offences, but drops in robbery, domestic burglaries, vehicle crime and drug offences.

Sexual offences in North Yorkshire reported increased by 14 per cent, with 84 more victims coming forward than in the previous year, but police said that this was down to greater confidence of victims in reporting incidents, and easier ways for them to do so.

Chief Constable Dave Jones, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Once again the official figures show that, overall, North Yorkshire is one of the safest places in the country in which to live, work and visit, and we will keep working hard at North Yorkshire Police to make sure it stays that way.

“These are encouraging statistics which mean that the people of North Yorkshire can have confidence in their police service, but we are far from complacent.

“There are some challenging issues to deal with in parts of our county, and we are forging close links with other local agencies to tackle these.

“The Office of National Statistics figures are based on reported crime, and we know that some crimes – particularly sexual or domestic abuse and hate crime – does not always get reported.

“That is starting to change, but we still have more to do to give victims the confidence to come forward.”

In Humberside, crime has risen by five per cent, with 65,908 reported crimes, and rises in violence, sexual offences, robbery, burglary, shoplifting and possession of weapons.

Vehicle offences, theft from the person, and public order offences all fell slightly in Humberside, and crime remains lower in the area than it was ten years ago.

Deputy Chief Constable David Griffin of Humberside Police said the force was working hard to address the increase.