Violent offences rates in Leeds among highest in country according to new crime stats

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Violent offence rates in Leeds are among the highest in England and Wales, new crime statistics show.

The Office for National Statistics's crime data shows that police recorded 37,020 violent offences in the area during the 12 months to September.

That meant a rate of 47 offences for every 1,000 people in the area, compared to an England and Wales average of 28 per 1,000.

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It was also ​a 14.1% increase on the previous year, when 32,434 were recorded.

Violent crime in Leeds is among the highest in countryViolent crime in Leeds is among the highest in country
Violent crime in Leeds is among the highest in country

Police recorded 106,216 crimes of all types (excluding fraud) in Leeds over the 12 months, ​a 3.5% increase on the previous year.

It meant a rate of 135 crimes per 1,000 people, compared to an England and Wales rate of 85 per 1,000.

Across England and Wales, the number of police recorded crimes rose by 5% in the year to September, to just over 5 million offences. The figures exclude Greater Manchester, where they are recorded differently.

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​Knife crime hit a record high, up by 7% on the previous 12 months, but the total number of homicides recorded by police fell by 6%, from 654 to 617.

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Commenting on the national figures, John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, said: "Until policing has the resources it needs, these increases in recorded crime will continue to increase.

"Society has become a more violent place and the police cannot and should not be expected to fight this crime epidemic alone.

"We need more support from other areas of the public sector.

"This is not a simple problem to fix."

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He reiterated calls for "long-term, sustainable funding", adding that cash pledges made by the Government are "a move in the right direction" but they are not enough to undo the "damage" of previous cuts.

Helen Ross, from the ONS centre for crime and justice, said: "In the last year, there has been no change in overall levels of crime, however this hides variations in different types of crime.

"Although the number of offences involving a knife has continued to increase, there is a mixed picture across police forces – and overall levels of violence remain steady."