VIOLENT crime has risen in Shropshire over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

Changes in society while coronavirus restrictions were in place led to most types of crime plummeting nationally over the period – although drug offences rose by nearly a third during lockdown – the Office for National Statistics said.

West Mercia Police recorded 6,940 incidents of violent crime in Shropshire in the 12 months to June, according to the ONS.

That was an increase of nine per cent compared to the previous year.

According the ADT's Interactive Crime Map, in Oswestry there were 1544 recorded crimes over the last 12 months.

Of these, the most common crime involved violence and sexual offences, with 559 instances being recorded. Of these, the three highest crime 'hotspots' were Leg Street, New Street and Church Street.

The next most common crime was antisocial behaviour, with 434 recorded instances. Sainsbury's appears to be a hotspot for antisocial crime, with 10 instances in the last 12 months, with Leg Street and New street again with 15 instances, followed again by Swan Lane and Church Street.

The third most recorded crime in Oswestry was criminal damage and arson, with 148 recorded instances.

The most populous area for this crime was Church Street, Leg Street and at North Shropshire College

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Although crime fell during the pandemic the pressure on the police remained.

"Policing had to adapt to a situation unlike anything we had experienced before and continues to do so even as the national lockdown was lifted and crime returned to pre-lockdown levels.

"That pressure has increased with local lockdowns being rolled out and because of the additional challenges they bring to policing."

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