PEOPLE in Herefordshire are less likely to be burgled than they were, but five other crimes have increased by 90 per cent or more over a 15-year period.

We dug into Community Safety Partnership data from the Office of National Statistics (which goes back as far as 2003) to find recent trends in criminal offences in the county. Here's what we found:

Offences on the Rise Since 2003

Herefordshire people are more likely to be a victim of 10 types of criminal offence: death or serious injury caused by illegal driving, stalking and harassment, homicide, sexual offences, violence without injury, possession of weapons offences, drug offences, theft from the person, public order offences and violence with injury.

Hereford Times:

The number of these reported offences has increased anywhere from 4 per cent (for violence with injury) to 473 per cent (for stalking and harassment) over the past 15 years.

Of particular note are the offences that more than doubled in number from 2003 to 2018.

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For example, incidents of stalking and harassment rose 473 per cent from 161 reported offences in 2003 to 923 in 2018; sexual offences rose 172 per cent from 166 in 2003 to 452 in 2018; violence without injury increased by 144 per cent from 726 offences in 2003 to 1,773 offences in 2018; possession of a weapon offences rose 136 per cent from 53 in 2003 to 125 in 2018.

Offences in Decline Since 2003

The reported number of nine types of offences has dropped: miscellaneous crimes against society, robbery, shoplifting, bicycle theft, domestic burglary, criminal damage and arson, vehicle offences, non-domestic burglary and other theft offences.

The number of reported incidents of these offences dropped anywhere from 1 per cent (for miscellaneous crimes against society) to 85 per cent (for non-residential burglaries) over the past 15 years.

In particular, incidents of burglaries, bicycle thefts and criminal damage are down.

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Residential burglary dropped 45 per cent over the 15 years from 2003 to 2018, with the number of reported incidents declining from 989 per year to 546 in 2018.

Non-residential burglaries dropped even more significantly, from 1,863 events to 277 over the same time period (a drop of 85 per cent).

Residents are 69 per cent less likely to be the victim of vehicle crime (eg, car theft), with the number of offences dropping from 1,608 in 2003 to 496 in 2018.

Reported criminal damage and arson is down 48 per cent and bicycle theft is down 44 per cent.

  • To uncover trends in criminal offences in Herefordshire from 2003 until 2018, we analysed Community Safety Partnership data from the Office of National Statistics. From 2003 until 2006, annual offence data is available for each year ending in March. From 2007 onwards, rolling 12-month data is available on a quarterly basis. In order to access the most recently available data for each year, we therefore transitioned to annual data ending for a year ending in December for the years 2007 until 2018 (while the 2003 to 2006 data is annual data for a year ending in March). Note: The terminology used in reporting burglaries changed from June 2017, with crimes being reported as "residential/non-residential" instead of "domestic/non-domestic". Data compiled by NimbleFins