CRIME has risen over the last year in Winchester, official police records reveal.

Hampshire Constabulary recorded 8,139 offences in Winchester in the 12 months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of 31 per cent compared to the previous year, when there were 6,194.

READ MORE: Hampshire Hospitals Charity launches fundraising campaign to improve hospital services for children

However, at 64.6 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 89.3.

Of the crimes recorded in the area over the last 12 months, 370 were sexual offences – an increase of 41 per cent from the year before.

Meanwhile, violent crime has risen in the area, from 2,335 to 2,918 over this period.

One of the main factors behind this increase was the rise in stalking and harassment, which rose by 33 per cent, from 731 incidents to 972.

And theft offences rose by 43 per cent, with 2,457 incidents recorded in the 12 months to March.

At 19.5 crimes per 1,000 people, that was lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 25.1.

The statistics will be skewed by the lockdowns between spring 2020 and summer 2021.

Crimes recorded in Winchester included:

370 sexual offences, a rise of 41 per cent

2,918 violent offences, a rise of 25 per cent

845 incidents of criminal damage and arson, up 34 per cent

257 drug offences, up 8 per cent

64 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, an increase of six

1,027 public order offences, up 35 per cent

2,457 theft offences, a rise of 43 per cent

972 stalking and harassment offences, up 33 per cent


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