Fewer robberies were recorded by police in North Wales in the past year, new crime figures show – despite an increase across England and Wales.
The Office for National Statistics said recent police data provides insight into which crimes are returning to pre-pandemic levels, while others remain relatively below or significantly higher than levels before Covid-19.
ONS figures show 155 robbery offences were recorded by North Wales Police in the year to March 2023 – down from 205 the year before.
It was also down from pre-pandemic levels when 246 robbery offences were recorded in the year to March 2020.
Across England and Wales, there were 75,300 robberies recorded in the most recent year – a jump of 13 per cent from 66,300 in 2022. But compared to 2020, it was down 17 per cent.
Nick Stripe, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “Some crime types are returning to their pre-pandemic levels, while others may have been affected by changes in people’s behaviour during the pandemic and the subsequent lifting of social restrictions.
“For crimes which are well reported and recorded by the police, we can gain additional insight from police data.
“Knife crime, robbery and firearms offences are all down on March 2020 levels, but have seen increases in the past year.
“Overall crime continues to be well below levels seen before the pandemic. This is in large part due to sharp falls in theft and criminal damage.”
Sexual offences remain higher than pre-pandemic levels with some 195,300 offences recorded by police in England and Wales last year, up slightly on 193,600 in 2022 but a leap of 20 per cent from 163,400 in the pre-pandemic year.
In North Wales, 2,670 sexual offences were recorded in the past year – up 2 per cent from 2020.
The rise reflects improvements in police recording practices and increased reporting by victims, which means the figures “do not provide a reliable measure of trends in these types of crime”, the ONS said.
The data will also have been influenced by “the impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report both recent and historical incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”.
Overall, North Wales Police recorded a total of 63,635 crimes in 2023. It was an increase from 60,613 crimes recorded pre-pandemic.
(Source: North Wales Chronicle)