COPPERS in north Wales have to deal with a higher rate of crime than the Metropolitan Police in London, crime figures suggest.

The Office for National Statistics released its latest data for the number of crimes recorded by police force area in England and Wales – as well as the rate per 1,000 people.

Eyebrow raising rankings have emerged on social media showing that North Wales Police, which covers Gwynedd, had to contend with a higher crime rate than the Metropolitan Police last year.

North Wales’ rate of 96.3 is the 15th highest in the country ahead of London (excluding the City of London zone) on 95.9 and significantly above the national average of 91.9.

Shockingly, the region had the third highest rate in England and Wales for sexual offences per 1,000 people (4.1), equivalent to 2,800 cases.

It also saw the sixth highest rate of ‘violence against the person’ crimes (32,000 cases) in all of England and Wales – as well as the eighth most for ‘violence without injury’. All of these rates were significantly higher than the London region.

In the year ending September 2022, north Wales recorded the highest Welsh rates for criminal damage and arson (10.8 or 7,500 incidents) as well as violence with injury (10.4 or 7,300 cases).

It had fewer robberies, thefts and burglaries than other Welsh police forces and the second least drug offences.

Neighbouring Dyfed-Powys Police recorded a much lower overall rate of 84.4 which is significantly below the England and Wales average.

The figures also show North Wales Police saw a total 10,115 crimes in the year to September – up by 10 per cent on the 9,181 the year before.

This includes 439 sexual offences in Gywnedd – a worrying increase on 359 the year before.

And only 6.8 per cent of crimes lead to a charge according to other ONS data.

But the data shows the overall number of estimated crimes across England and Wales remained below pre-pandemic levels.

The crime survey for England and Wales showed around 9.1 million offences were committed in the year to September – down 10 per cent on the 10.2 million committed in the year to March 2020, the last full year before the pandemic.

Tiff Lynch, deputy national chair at the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the rise in crime means ‘the safety and welfare’ of police officers is at risk.

Ms Lynch said: “For the public to have the police they deserve, we must be able to retain the experienced officers we have and attract the talented and dedicated individuals we need by offering fair pay, staff levels that do not represent a threat to our officers, and ensure the kit and the support so desperately needed is provided.”

Minister for Policing, Crime and Fire Chris Philp said: “Overall crime in England and Wales has dropped by 50 per cent since 2010, excluding fraud and computer misuse, and since December 2019 there have been reductions in the number of burglaries, cases of serious violence and murder.

“There is much more to do, particularly to protect women and girls. We need to stop rapes from happening and put more predators behind bars.”