Luton has one of the highest rates of burglary in England and Wales, latest recorded crime figures show

Luton has one of the highest rates of burglary in England and Wales, according to the latest police recorded crime figures.

There were 2,076 household break-ins in the 12 months to September 2018, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Luton has one of the highest rates of burglary in England and Wales, according to the latest police recorded crime figures.

Luton has one of the highest rates of burglary in England and Wales, according to the latest police recorded crime figures.

This means that 10 out of every 1,000 people in Luton reported a burglary, one of the highest rates in England and Wales.

The statistics are based on crimes recorded by the police, and the ONS urges caution in interpreting some of these figures. Statisticians said burglary has reduced nationally.

Helen Ross, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: "In recent decades we've seen the overall level of crime falling, but in the last year, it remained level.

"Burglary, shoplifting and computer misuse are decreasing but others, such as vehicle offences and robbery are rising.

"We have also seen increases in some types of 'lower-volume, high-harm' violence including offences involving knives or sharp instruments."

Overall, police recorded crime in Luton increased in the 12 months to September 2018.

Over the period, 20,715 crimes were recorded, up by 15% on 2016-17.

That means there was a rate of 97 crimes per 1,000 residents during 2017-18, above the England and Wales average of 85.

Gun and knife possession offences in Luton rose by 22 to 229 incidents.

There have been four homicides, which are murders or manslaughters. There was one case of death or injury by dangerous driving.

Across England and Wales, the number of recorded homicides rose by 14%, to the highest level since 2008. These figures excluded people who died in terror attacks.

In Luton, theft, one of the most high volume crimes, slightly decreased by 1%. Drugs related offences rose by 24%.

Commenting on the national figures, Chief Constable Bill Skelly, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "Rising crime, increased terrorist activity and fewer police officers have put serious strain on the policing we offer to the public.

"We are determining the additional capabilities and investment we need to drive down violence and catch more criminals - and we will make the case at the next Government Spending Review."

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said: "These statistics show that your chance of being a victim ofcrime remains low, but we recognise that certain crimes - particularly violent crime - have increased, and we are taking action to address this."

Criminal damage in Luton, which includes arson and vandalising cars and houses, has gone up, from 2,044 incidents in 2016-17, to 2,201 in the latest figures.

While violence with injury, which includes assault, GBH and wounding, has risen, this could be due to improved police recording.

Similarly sexual offences are hard to judge as many more victims are now coming forward due to a series of high profile cases.

In Luton, there were 634 incidents recorded between October 2017 and September 2018, a 59% rise on the previous year, when 400 crimes were reported.

There were also 1,306 cases of stalking and harassment reported over the same period.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, commented: "Society just isn’t as safe as it once was, and although the police service is doing everything within its power, we are swimming against the tide."