HAMPSHIRE Police is in the top half of forces across the UK in the latest crime figures, released by the Office for National Statistics.

Temporary head of Hampshire Constabulary’s Crime Standards Department, detective superintendent Robert Maker, said: “Hampshire and the Isle of Wight continue to be some of the safest counties of the country to live, work and visit.

“The integrity of crime statistics has recently come under scrutiny. However, we are confident that the strict audit and compliance procedures employed by Hampshire Constabulary provide reassurance that the recently released statistics on violent crime are a true reflection of our commitment to protect people from harm and our continued efforts to robustly deal with violent offenders.”

In addition the number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in the force area has increased slightly, which the force said was due to better crime detection rates and “a commitment to helping victims to be able to come forward”.