CLOSE to 100 sexual offences have been recorded in Stroud in the last year.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that although there has been a 0.4 per cent drop in recorded crime across Gloucestershire there has been a rise in sexual offences.

A total of 581 sexual offences were recorded in Gloucestershire in the last year – an increase of 15 per cent.

Of these 97 were recorded in Stroud with the majority taking place in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

Nationally the figures show an increase of 20 per cent in all sexual offences for the year ending March 2014 compared with the previous year - up from 53,620 to 64,200.

This is the highest level recorded since the introduction of the Crime Recording Standard in April 2002.

According to detective chief constable Rod Hansen the rise reflects national figures which may be attributed to a rise in the number of reports to police in light of Operation Yewtree, increased confidence in reporting and better recording practices across all forces.

Between 2013 and 2014 a total of 29,480 crimes have been recorded across the county.

“There are many areas where we have seen a significant drop, including robbery and drug offences, which reflect the hard work that has been carried out in these areas,” he said.

A total of 2,445 incidents of domestic burglary have been recorded in Gloucestershire in the last year – an increase of 11.3 per cent on the previous year.

“Regrettably, we have seen a rise in domestic burglary and theft however under the Police and Crime Plan priority, Safe Days and Nights for All, we are working hard with our partners to tackle these issues,” added DCC Hansen.

“There are a number of dedicated operations specifically aimed at tackling burglary and these have resulted in arrests in recent weeks. We will continue to work with partners and the public to reduce burglary in the county.”

Gloucestershire police is also undertaking a review of CCTV in city and town centres across the county in order to continue to focus on known ‘hotspots’ for disorder.

“We will work with others to try to continue reducing violence and incidents of disorder but overall Gloucestershire remains a safe place to live, work and visit and our officers are committed to providing the best possible service to the public,” added DCC Hansen.