SHOCKING figures have revealed that last year more than 20,000 crimes across the region went unsolved.

Figures show that a total of 22,976 crimes remain unsolved by North Yorkshire Police as of March 18, this year.

The number of unsolved drugs offences across the region has more than doubled from 2012 to 2013 and is at the highest it has been for five years. A total of 133 drug offences are unsolved compared to just 61 in 2012.

North Yorkshire Police said that the recent increase could have been down to wrongly administered warnings.

A spokeswoman said: “Where an individual has received a cannabis possession warning, they ought not, if found in possession of cannabis a second time, receive a second warning.

“As part of its routine programme of quality assurance of crime recording and disposal procedures, the force noted instances where a second warning was wrongly administered.

“While this was corrected, the effect upon the resolution rate is such that under the crime recording rules, such mistakes cannot be counted as resolved.”

The number of unsolved sexual offences is also at the highest it has been for the past five years, with a total of 490 offences unsolved in 2013.

A police spokeswoman said: “In the case of sexual offences we have seen an increase in the number of offences reported since 2009 and this has the potential to lead to increase in the number of unsolved crimes.

“There are many reasons which may account for the increase in reported sexual crime and it’s generally accepted that it is an indication that more victims have the confidence to come forward and get the help and support they need.”

“The opening of North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre now means that victims do not have to go direct to the police, they can contact the centre and discuss the support options which are available to them, giving them time to think and make informed decisions.”

Yet despite the fact that a total of 130,740 crimes have gone unsolved across North Yorkshire between 2009 and 2013, North Yorkshire Police’s current overall detection rate is 35 per cent, placing the force above the national average of 32 per cent. North Yorkshire Police said they were pleased to see that the overall The force said the detected rate has increased since 2009, when a total of 30,492 crimes were unsolved.