OVERALL crime in County Durham has risen in the past year, figures have revealed.

Durham Constabulary has seen year-on-year reductions in recorded crime between 2006 and 2013, which resulted in a 44 per cent fall in offences and almost 24,000 fewer crimes.

But during the past 12 months there has been a 10 per cent increase in crime compared to the previous year.

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County Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, said: “Despite this increase in recorded crime, County Durham and Darlington remains one of the safest places in the country to live, work and visit.

“We have solved more crimes this year and continue to have some of the best performance for this in the country.”

The types of crime which has caused the increase relate to drug offences, violent crime and sexual offences and theft.

Mr Hogg said increases in violent crime and sexual offences largely relate to a higher volume of historical incidents that are being reported in response to the Jimmy Savile investigation.

He said Durham Constabulary’s investigation of the Medomsley Detention Centre illustrates that victims are now confident to come forward.

Mr Hogg said: “We will continue to deal with such crimes effectively and sensitively, ensuring that the victim remains at the heart of everything we do.”

The increase in theft and stealing offences are predominantly in relation to shoplifting where the most commonly stolen items are food, toiletries and clothes.

Mr Hogg said people are now less likely to be victims of household burglary or having items stolen from their vehicles”.

Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton, said: “Durham Constabulary continues to put victims first, investigating and solving crime and community problems.”