Tens of thousands of crimes were recorded in Bury last year, amid an increase in total offences across England and Wales.

A total of 20,246 offences were recorded in Bury by Greater Manchester Police last year according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

At 106.2 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 85.5.

This is the first time Greater Manchester Police have been able to supply data at community safety partnership level since its implementation of a new IT system in July 2019 – meaning no comparison to last year is possible.

Community safety partnerships are made up of representatives from the police, local authorities, fire and rescue authorities, health and probation services, who work together to protect their local communities from crime.

Crimes recorded in Bury included:

• 717 sexual offences

• 7,715 violent offences

• 1,931 incidents of criminal damage and arson • 480 drug offences

• 213 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives

• 3,146 public order offences

• 5,221 theft offences

• 3,075 stalking and harassment offences

Around 6.1m offences were recorded across England and Wales in the year to December, including computer fraud and computer misuse.

This was up eight per cent from 5.6m in 2020, but roughly the same number as recorded in the 12 months to March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of sex crimes recorded by police in England and Wales also reached a record high in 2021.

Police recorded 183,587 rapes and sexual offences in 2021, which was up 22 per cent on 2020 (150,748) which was the previous highest annual figure to date.

A total of 37 per cent of sexual offences recorded (67,125) were rapes – a 21 per cent rise from 55,592 in the 12 months to December 2020.

There was also a rise in domestic-abuse related crime in 2021 and stalking and harassment.

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said she was "seriously concerned" by the latest figures.

She added: “Sadly, these figures reflect what we’re seeing – the number of sexual violence cases referred to us have increased by a third since before the pandemic.

“We also know that court delays for victims of sexual violence are at an all-time high – this is a worrying combination."

The ONS said the latest statistics may reflect a number of factors, including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”.

It said the overall number of crimes recorded were lower during lockdowns but that there were “substantial increases" from April 2021, with certain offence types returning to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.