THE coronavirus lockdown in March has resulted in a fall in burglaries, sexual offences and violence with injury across North Wales.

The Crime Figures for England and Wales also showed that there had been a rise in online crime including fraud and phishing in the region up to June, which corresponded with other parts of the country.

North Wales Police said the changes in crime levels corresponded with the period of national lockdown earlier in the year.

With restrictions on movement and the closure of shops, workplaces and public venues the opportunities for crime were also reduced.

In particular levels of residential burglaries and sexual offences showed substantial reductions, some of which have continued after June.

Assistant chief Constable Sacha Hatchett said: “The Covid 19 environment has posed challenges for the way we police and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We appreciate that this remains a very difficult time for our communities, especially for vulnerable people. I’d like to reassure the public that we continue to work closely with our partners who are helping to support those in crisis.

“Although the figures show a pleasing reduction in crime we are acutely aware of the exceptional circumstances we all faced during the spring and summer which have had a significant bearing on these statistics."

Mrs Hatchett said that the force has "invested significantly" in specialist resources to tackle the "changing nature" of crime in a number of areas including modern day slavery, the threat of online fraud, cybercrime, online child sexual abuse and County Lines drug crime.

“Despite the return of some crime types to pre-covid levels following the easing of the original lockdown, the prospect of shorter local lockdowns will have an impact on crime and demand on the force," she said.

“However over the summer and in recent weeks we have successfully targeted several Organised Crime Groups responsible for bringing in and distributing drugs in our area, making scores of arrests in well planned coordinated operations.

“It’s important to note that our region is one of the safest in the country and that communities remain far less likely to be the victim of household crime than the majority of areas nationally."