VIOLENT crime has risen in Shropshire over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

Changes in society while coronavirus restrictions were in place led to most types of crime plummeting nationally over the period – although drug offences rose by nearly a third during lockdown – the Office for National Statistics said.

West Mercia Police recorded 6,940 incidents of violent crime in Shropshire in the 12 months to June, according to the ONS.

That was an increase of nine per cent compared to the previous year.

According the ADT's Interactive Crime Map, in Whitchurch there were 774 recorded crimes over the last 12 months.

Of these, the most common crime involved violence and sexual offences, with 298 instances being recorded. Of these, the three highest crime 'hotspots' were Green End, High Street and Newton.

The next most common crime was antisocial behaviour, with 196 recorded instances. Tesco appears to be the hotspot for antisocial crime, with 13 instances in the last 12 months, with Watergate next with 7 instances, followed again by Green End and High Street.

The third most recorded crime in Whitchurch was criminal damage and arson, with 77 recorded instances.

The most populous area for this crime was Castle Hill and Bark Hill.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Although crime fell during the pandemic the pressure on the police remained.

"Policing had to adapt to a situation unlike anything we had experienced before and continues to do so even as the national lockdown was lifted and crime returned to pre-lockdown levels.

"That pressure has increased with local lockdowns being rolled out and because of the additional challenges they bring to policing."

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