Community Safety overview


Crime in England and Wales 2022/23

The latest publication from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for 12 months ending March 2023 reports that whilst overall crime has decreased, many types of crime have returned to pre-pandemic levels in England and Wales. The crime survey is only reported on at England and Wales level, so police recorded crime is used for the local authority picture.

Latest full year figures from the Home Office for 2022/23 on police recorded crime show that there were 130,378 crimes (excluding fraud) in the Lancashire-14 area. This represents a decrease of 6.1% (-8,475 crimes) in the Lancashire-14 area compared with 2021/22. This was lower than the increase seen in England and Wales (5%). Violence against the person accounts for 42% of all recorded crime in Lancashire-14, and has seen a decrease of 9% (-5,573 crimes) on the previous year. Whilst possession of weapons had the largest increase of 13% (1,654 crimes), it accounted for only 1% of all recorded crime in Lancashire-14. 

Data for Community Safety Partnerships areas shows that in the year ending March 2023 there were 90,195 recorded crimes (excluding fraud) in the Lancashire-12 area in the 12 months ending March 2023.  This was a 6.4% decrease,(-6,196 crimes) on the 12 months previous. When compared with pre-pandemic recorded crime (2019/20), there was a 10% decrease in recorded crime.

Blackpool at 160 offences per 1,000 population heads the table of districts within Lancashire-14. The borough has the fifth highest crime rate, second highest rate for violence against the person and sexual offences, of any Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in England and Wales. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential victims.

Preston is the only area that saw a rise in crime in 2022/23 in Lancashire, 11%, predominantly driven by Theft Offences. South Ribble saw a 30% reduction in crimes in 2022/23 compared with the 12 months previous.

Ribble Valley, has the lowest crime rate (38) of the 296 CSPs in England and Wales.

Please note, there have been changes both in categories recorded and in recording practice which have significantly impacted the figures. The crime data integrity re-inspection 2019 judged that Lancashire Constabulary has significantly improved its crime-recording arrangements since the 2017 inspection and is therefore recording more crime. Lancashire Constabulary moved to a new crime recording system in November 2018.

The full report can be downloaded below.

Power BI reports visualising the recorded crime data are available to view on the dashboard page.

Lancashire strategic assessment 2022-25

The 2022-2025 strategic assessment states: this assessment highlights some of the key issues and risks across Lancashire which affect the local communities. They require multi-agency engagement to improve safeguarding, reduce vulnerability, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and improve the well-being of our residents. 

When looking at crime in a different perspective – harm – and using the ONS Crime Severity Tool, these volume crimes account for 20% of harm across the county. Using the ONS Crime Severity Tool to look at the most harmful crime categories, gives a different picture to that mentioned above. The most harmful crime types include residential and commercial burglary, assaults, wounding, rape, robbery and sexual activity involving a child. These crimes account for 25% of the volume, but 68% of harm. Investigations into the most harmful crimes are also the most resource intensive, not just for the police, but for partners as well. The score for each partnership can be seen on page 7 of the community safety dashboard.

As part of the strategic process a Living in Lancashire survey was conducted, sending out 2,916 questionnaires to residents across Lancashire. There was a 68% (1,991) response rate with all community safety, crime and policing questions answered by respondents. Analysis of the results found the following highlights:

  • 85% of respondents felt safe in their local area – with the age group of 60 yrs+ feeling most safe (88%).
  • A lack of police presence (14%) was the most significant reason why respondents felt unsafe in their local area.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents felt that issues with violence, sexual exploitation and organised crime were not a big problem.
  • 38% of respondents felt that burglary, with half of respondents aged 25-44 years, was a problem.
  • 53% felt drug dealing was a problem in their area, with respondents aged 25-59 years having most concern.
  • Dangerous driving was seen as a big problem for 49% of respondents (increase from previous survey).
  • Less than half of respondents felt that the police and other local public services are dealing with crime and ASB successfully – this has been reducing in recent surveys.
  • Cleanliness of the streets (34%) and access to green areas (12%) were issues that had increased in dissatisfaction in local communities.