More sexual offences were recorded in North East Lincolnshire over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded crime.
Humberside Police recorded 604 incidents of sexual offences in North East Lincolnshire in the 12 months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
That was an increase of 10% compared to the previous year.
At 3.8 crimes per 1,000 people, that was slightly higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 2.8.
Around 5.8 million offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to June – in line with the previous year – though there was a 3% decrease to 4.9 million offences when excluding fraud and computer misuse.
Nick Stripe, head of crime statistics at the ONS, said the figures showed overall reductions in the reporting and recording of many crime types during periods of lockdown.
However, reports of fraud and hacking continued to rise – something the ONS previously suggested was due to criminals taking advantage of behavioural changes during the pandemic, while many took to online shopping amid lockdowns when there were restrictions on movement.
The total number of offences in North East Lincolnshire fell by 9%, with police recording 17,770 crimes over the course of the year.
This puts the overall crime rate at 111.5 per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 81.3.
Other crimes recorded in North East Lincolnshire included:
7,226 violent offences, a rise of 4%3,850 theft offences, down 33%2,483 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 11%121 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, no change2,369 public order offences, up 9%
The ONS figures show 61,158 rapes were recorded across England and Wales in the 12 months to June – the highest recorded annual figure to date, and up by 10% from 55,779 the year before.
The second-highest number of sexual offences was also recorded over the period (164,763) – an 8% increase on the previous year.
The ONS urged caution when interpreting the data.
Mr Stripe added: “The rise could be due to an increase in victim reporting as lockdowns eased, an increase in the number of victims, or to an increase in victims’ willingness to report incidents, potentially as a result of high-profile cases and campaigns in recent times.”
Jeffrey DeMarco, assistant director at the charity Victim Support, said: “Much more needs to be done urgently to tackle both these offences and to ensure that those who come forward and report them are able to access justice.”