Startling new statistics show domestic burglaries soared by 12 per cent last year – despite an overall fall in crime.
Official data, published by the Office for National Statistics yesterday, show crime in the county was down three per cent last year.
Police have cautiously welcomed a fall in crime but warned the figures only account for a fraction of the force’s work.
Lancashire Police’s assistant chief constable Mark Bates said: “The true picture for us in Lancashire is that the vast majority of officer time is spent on helping the most vulnerable, usually children and the elderly, and preventing harm.
“We also deal with many mental health-related incidents which make up around a quarter of the calls that we take.
“It is these types of incidents and issues that could potentially result in a crime further down the line that are not recorded or easily quantifiable, however, they do take up a great amount of police officer and staff time and resources.”
The figures show there was crime recorded for every 16 people living in Lancashire between April 2014 and March this year.
The total number of recorded offences in the county last year was 92,646, down from 95,372 the year before.
Preston also saw crime fall by three per cent, from 11,310 to 11,001.
Domestic burglary was up 18 per cent in the city, with an extra 95 offences recorded last year.
However total theft offences were down five per cent to 5,283.
Crime in Chorley fell 1.3 per cent, from 5,363 to 5,295. Theft offences were down two per cent – 50 fewer crimes than the year before – despite a minor rise in domestic burglaries.
In South Ribble the total number of offences rose by three to 4,493. That included a 21 per cent increase in sexual offences, which rose to 103 for the year.
Overall, burglary in the borough was up 17 per cent – or 84 offences – with domestic offences increasing from 177 to 199.
However criminal damage and arson fell by 12 per cent to 812.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The reduction in crime this year is obviously good news and shows a good picture for Lancashire.
“While I welcome this, there are clearly some areas where there has been an increase and this is worrying.”
He said the increased demand placed on officers is particularly concerning in light of “continuing financial pressures” as savage cuts to the police budget have left the force needing to make £100m in savings by 2021.
He added: “Tackling crime is one of my key priorities, but this only represents a small part of what officers do.”