Crime figures from Thames Valley Police have shown a 12.5 per cent increase in reported crime across Cherwell and west Oxfordshire over the past 12 months.
Of the 138,710 crimes across the Thames Valley area – an increase of 7.2 per cent– 13,236 of those are in the Banbury Guardian region. The figures cover the period between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
The increase in crime reports has largely been attributed to improvements in compliance with National Crime Recording Standards, following 13 recommendations made by HMIC in 2014.
Those recommendations included making sure forces record crime at the first point of contact, abandoning the practice of investigating first and recording later and to institutionalise the presumption the victim should always be believed.
But compared to five years ago, there were 66,976 fewer crimes recorded and 8,357 fewer recorded offences compared with ten years ago.
> There was a 5.9 per cent increase in violent crime, from 2,688 to 2,846.
> The number of sexual offences fell by 0.6 per cent, but the number of reported rapes increased from 146 to 171, a rise of 17.1 per cent.
> Burglaries rose by 35.8 per cent from 833 to 1,131.
> Business robberies fell by 61.5 per cent from 13 to five.
> Vehicle crime has risen by 40.9 per cent from 793 to 1,117.
> Drug offences fell by 21.2 per cent from 532 to 419.
> Incidents of arson and criminal damage rose by 18.9 per cent from 1,615 to 1,921.
> Bicycle theft rose by 24.2 per cent from 236 to 293 incidents.
Chief inspector Emma Garside, LPA deputy commander for Cherwell and west Oxfordshire, said: “The annual crime figures show that the local policing area of Cherwell and West Oxfordshire shares many of the same challenges as other areas in the force.
“We are pleased the numbers of drugs offences have reduced, as this reinforces the work we have done locally under the Stronghold campaign.
“I am also pleased to see a reduction in the numbers of businesses falling victim to robbery as we actively promote the message of taking preventive steps when it comes to personal and property security.
“Overall however, crime in the area is up.
“We have seen an increase for the first time in a number of years of domestic burglary.
“This increase has been seen across the country and the increase is particularly in larger urban areas such as Banbury and Bicester.
“We are taking the necessary steps to identify potential causes and encourage the crime prevention messages in our communities.
“Crime isn’t just a police concern. We work hard at building and strengthening our relationships with our key partners in the local authority and other emergency services.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the public over this last year as we continue to protect the most vulnerable in our communities from harm and ensure our towns and villages are a safe place to live and work.”
The HMIC’s latest PEEL assessment rated Thames Valley Police as good across all areas of policing (effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy), and victim satisfaction remains high at 88 per cent, compared with the national average of 84 per cent.
Crime victims that need support to help them recover from the impact of crime can find someone to help at www.victims-first.org.uk.