MORE than half of all crimes reported to police in Barnsley were linked to violence and sexual offences in April, shock new figures have revealed.

Statistics obtained by the Chronicle show that throughout April the latest figures available a total of 1,791 crimes were reported to South Yorkshire Police in the town’s four policing wards of Barnsley Central, South East, West and North East.

The latter had the most reports with a total of 624 incidents almost 100 more than the South East ward.

Of those 624, more than half 331 were attributed to violence and sexual offences.

Antisocial behaviour reports ranked second in the most prominent offences list with 115, and there were also 87 criminal damage and arson and 87 public order offences reported.

Violence and sexual offence crimes accounted for the most-reported incidents across the borough as the Central ward received 90 reports, South East 286 and West 186.

Of April’s 1,791 incidents, 897 were for the crime making up more than 50 per cent of all incidents.

There was 361 antisocial behaviour reports, 293 criminal damage and arson incidents and 240 public order offences.

In a report to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings in April, Deputy Chief Constable Tim Forber confirmed around 2,100 crimes are committed each month in Barnsley.

Although only 16 per cent of crimes in the town lead to a caution, charge to court or restorative justice.

The crimes that have seen the largest increase in comparison to the previous quarter are residential burglaries, stalking and harassment.

However the force say they have seen ‘marked reductions’ in sexual offences, violence without injury and theft from a motor vehicle.

The report said: “In terms of recorded crime, local and force crime volumes remain in line with seasonal trends and previous years.

“Volumes are returning to pre-Covid levels following the reductions experienced during prolonged lockdown restrictions.

“Barnsley is currently experiencing around 2,100 recorded crimes per month which is consistent with the previous quarter.

“The proportion of crimes that result in a suspect being identified and subject to either a charge to court, a caution or a restorative justice disposal currently sits at 16.2 per cent.

“However, the district regular responds to emerging trends through daily monitoring and management.

“In November 2021, Barnsley obtained two tracking devices to support the application of directed patrols in hotspot areas.

“The devices accurately measure speed, live time movement and locations of police officers undertaking targeted patrols.

“The devices are reliable, provide incisive business intelligence regarding the quality of targeted patrols, and are used to reassure our communities through social media messaging.”