CRIME has fallen over the last year in Trafford, amid an increase in recorded crime across England and Wales.

But with no official crime statistics yet published for the coronavirus lockdown period, police chiefs say their own figures show overall crime remains far below normal levels.

Greater Manchester Police recorded 4,444 offences in Trafford in the 12 months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was a decrease of 77%, compared to the previous year, when there were 19,324. At 19 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far lower than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 89.

Crimes recorded in Trafford included: 124 sexual offences, - a decrease of 77%, 1,310 violent offences - a decrease of 76%, 388 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down 79%, 92 drug offences -down 72%, 45 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives -down 78%, 671 public order offences - down 76% and 1,659 theft offences, -down 77%

Overall, police recorded three per cent more crime across England and Wales – there were almost 5.8 million offences in the year to March. This excludes crime recorded by Greater Manchester Police, whose data was compromised after the installation of new IT software. The ONS said crime figures were largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, as the period covered was mostly pre-lockdown.

However, the National Police Chiefs’ Council says its own provisional figures, which cover the four weeks to July 5, show crime has fallen by 14% compared to the same period last year.

This was the fourth update in crime trends the council has released since the beginning of lockdown restrictions, with this month’s figures showing the smallest year-on-year drop so far.

NPCC lead for crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: “The vast majority of the public continue to follow the rules in place to limit the spread of the virus, and as a result, we have seen sustained reductions in crime over the course of the lockdown period. It is no surprise that as more people are able to move around freely, we will begin to see movement towards previous levels. However, this is a gradual change.”

Previous reductions in reports of rape appeared to be slowing, he added, suggesting they may return to 2019 levels.