Dorset Police has hailed a reduction in violent and sexual crimes - but new figures have also revealed a spike in shoplifting.

During the 12 months from June 2022 to June 2023, overall crime in Dorset decreased by 0.5 per cent, against a national average increase of 2.2 per cent.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that serious crimes involving violence against a person has dropped by 1.3 per cent with violent crimes causing an injury falling by 7.2 per cent.

Sexual offences reduced by 11.4 per cent, including a 10.7 per cent fall in rape. 

However, when it comes to thefts and robberies, there has been an increase – particularly in shoplifting and thefts from a person.

Temporary deputy chief constable, Rachel Farrell, of Dorset Police, said: “Dorset continues to be one of the safest areas to live, work and visit.

"All our officers, staff and volunteers are committed to making Dorset a safe county for everyone and ensuring that our communities are safe and feel safe.

“It is positive to see a decrease in sexual and violent offences during this time. We remain committed to reducing and preventing sexual offences and work closely with our partners in transforming the way we respond to, and investigate rape and sexual offences, as well as improving the criminal justice journey for victims of these heinous crimes.”

READ: Police Stop potential shoplifter in Weymouth M&S

Shoplifting rose by 36% from 2,891 incidents to 3,944, exceeding the average for England and Wales which is 25 per cent.

Paul Appleby, president of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce was left 'shocked' at the numbers.

He said: "These are shocking figures and I understand it is nationwide.

"I would expect the 100 days of summer policing has helped and we are grateful for that.

"My heart goes out to all the businesses affected and I hope Dorset Police, with help from the government, can do something about it quickly."

In terms of thefts from a person, such as pickpocketing, the figure for Dorset was double that of the national average at 32% (349 crime to 460). Vehicle offences have also risen along with robberies

The rise in thefts was evident as police arrested three men for alleged thefts on Thursday, October 19 – the day the data was released.


Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Dorset Police crime stats increase in percentages from June 2022 to June 2023Dorset Police crime stats increase in percentages from June 2022 to June 2023 (Image: Office for National Statistics)


Deputy chief constable Farrell, added: “Like other areas of the country, the force has seen an increase in some crimes. Vehicle-related offences have shown an increase of 7.2 per cent.

“We have also seen a 6.8 per cent increase of theft offences, which remains lower than the national average increase of 10 per cent.

“These crimes often cause fear, so we are working hard with our communities to engage, gather intelligence and investigate crimes so that we can target those responsible."

Dorset Police have been contacted to be provide further comment regarding the spike shoplifting.