LATEST crime figures reveal North Yorkshire is still one of the safest places in the country.

The statistics, released by the Office of National Statistics, show that there were 34,462 crimes reported in the county during 2013/14, which is a reduction of 0.1 per cent from last year, and is a significant reduction from the 47,940 offences five years ago in 2009.

North Yorkshire Police is also effectively tackling antisocial behaviour with 2,803 fewer incidents than last year, representing an eight per cent decrease.

Since March 2009 there have been 19,113 fewer incidents of antisocial behaviour in North Yorkshire.

During the last financial year, burglary was reduced by four per cent meaning there were 188 fewer victims than the previous year.

Vehicle crime was down by nine per cent, with 256 less victims and robbery figures showed a decrease of two per cent.

There were 256 fewer victims of criminal damage, with figures showing a reduction of five per cent. The number of sexual offences reported increased by 14 per cent, with 84 more victims coming forward than in the previous year. However, this rise was put down to the greater confidence victims have in reporting incidents of this nature to the police, knowing that they will be believed and treated sensitively.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), which provides support to victims of sexual crime without them having to speak directly to the police, has also contributed to the increase in reports of this nature.

There has also been an increase in public order offences (11 per cent), which can be attributed to more proactive policing.

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.

“We are very aware of the challenges ahead, but today’s news is reflective of all the hard work of the officers, community support officers, volunteers and staff at North Yorkshire Police - as well as the many people from our partner agencies who help us to keep our communities safe everyday.”