Lincolnshire has confirmed its reputation as one of the safest counties in England and Wales, according to the latest independently-produced figures.
A report by the Office for National Statistics showed that thefts, criminal damage, violence and public order offences were on average lower in Lincolnshire than in 52 other English and Welsh counties.
Lincolnshire Police is committed to working well with victims of all crime, but particularly sexual crimeShaun West, Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police
Lincolnshire recorded 50.6 crimes per 1,000 people, over a total population of 736,700, between April 2016 and March 2017.
This compares with the lowest figure for England and Wales recorded by Dyfed-Powys Police of 45.1 crimes per 1,000 people, over a total population of 515,900.
Shaun West, assistant chief constable of Lincolnshire Police, said: “Overall, crime in Lincolnshire has followed the national trend by increasing, but at a much lower rate.
“Police forces have on average seen an 11 per cent rise in crime whereas we have seen a four per cent increase.
“However, we are confident that we will address this as our force is investing in better technology and improving our systems to aid the sharing of intelligence with neighbouring forces.”
Mr West added that he was pleased with a 13 per cent fall in knife crime across Lincolnshire, making up just three per cent of total crimes committed over the 12-month period in question.
However, sexual offences rose slightly by one per cent, although this was set against a 14 per cent increase nationally.
Mr West said: “Where we have seen increases in crime they have not been at the same rate as they have nationally.
“However, Lincolnshire Police is committed to working well with victims of all crime, but particularly sexual crime.”
Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, said: “It is a cause of great pride that Lincolnshire remains one of the safest counties in England and Wales.
“This is testament to the dedication and commitment of those people who work to keep our communities safe.
“Nevertheless, we face some real challenges as we are already one of the lowest funded forces in the UK and, with the future grant levels still in doubt, we are looking at a substantial shortfall in our budgets for the years ahead.
“Myself and the force’s senior officer team are absolutely committed to keeping this county one of the safest in the country but that task is only going to get tougher.”