Crime in the Thames Valley region 'rises for first time in 10 years'

Reported crime in the Thames Valley has risen by 7.2% since last year - the region's first rise in crime for 10 years.

Thames Valley Police said the rise, between April 2015 and March 2016, was largely due to changes in recording practices.

It also said there had been increases in reporting domestic abuse and sexual offences.

Dep Chief Constable John Campbell said violent crime figures remained low.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 some 129,611 crimes were recorded across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire by the force - 8,663 more than during the same time period last year.

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DCC Campbell said Thames Valley was mirroring a national trend and the increase in recorded crime was "largely attributed to a change in recording practices set out by the Home Office".

Crime figures for violence against the person increased by 30.3% on last year to 28,319, but calls to the service for violent crime were down 12.5%.

The force also saw a 21.4% increase in recording of sexual offences, with a 37.3% increase in the reporting of rape.

DCC Campbell said: "Despite the increases in violent crime on last year, which may on the face appear to be concerning, we are confident that the increases are down to better recording, and that the Thames Valley has some of the lowest levels of violent crime in the country.

"I believe that the rise that we have seen this year in the reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences demonstrates the growing confidence of victims that they will be treated with compassion and sensitivity by our officers."

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