GLOUCESTERSHIRE has seen a spike in sexual offences and burglary but overall crime in the county has gone down, new figures reveal.

The county has seen nearly a 16 per cent rise in sexual offences in line with national figures which could be attributed to a rise in the number of reports to police in light of Operation Yewtree.

There has also been a 9.5 per cent rise in burglary overall, a 11.3 per cent increase in domestic burglaries and nearly an eight per cent rise in non-domestic burglary.

But overall in the county there has been a 0.4 per cent drop in crime which includes a 16 per cent drop in drug offences and 10 per cent decrease in robbery.

Deputy Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "There are many areas where we have seen a significant drop, including robbery and drug offences, reflecting the hard work that has been carried out in these areas.

"Regrettably, we have seen a rise in domestic burglary and theft. There are a number of dedicated operations specifically aimed at tackling burglary and these have resulted in arrests in recent weeks. "Also, a review of CCTV in our city and town centres is taking place to continue to focus on known ‘hotspots’ for disorder, together with the introduction and development of the Late Night Levy scheme. "Overall, Gloucestershire remains a safe place to live, work and visit and our officers are committed to providing the best possible service to the public."

Meanwhile, Thames Valley Police is bucking the national trend for a drop in crime rates with more than 4,000 fewer crimes recorded last year.

While police forces nationally saw a 1.3 per cent reduction in crime in the 12 months leading up to March, Thames Valley saw a reduction in crime of 3.2 per cent.

There was a 19.8 per cent drop in domestic burglary offences with 1,401 fewer crimes, robbery dropped by 16.9 per cent and public order offences fell by 9.5 per cent.

Bicycle theft reduced by 8.4 per cent from 5,639 to 5,163 but there was a 31.2 per cent rise in sexual offences.

Chief Constable Thornton said: “The fact that crime continues to drop and in some areas the reduction is greater than the national average shows that the tireless work of Thames Valley police officers and staff is paying off."