Homophobic crime up in Thames Valley, police figures show

The number of homophobic crimes reported in the Thames Valley has risen, according to police figures.

Police said there were 112 homophobic-related offences recorded from April 2011 to the end of March 2012, compared with 143 in the following 12 months.

Chair of Reading Pride Laurence O'Meara said: "The police have been supporting the community, people were afraid to report it before."

The figures also showed recorded crime dropped overall by more than 10%.

In 2012-13, it fell from 149,803 from the previous 12 months to 133,700.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said she was "delighted" with the overall fall.

Domestic burglary and robbery saw the largest decline with 1,747 fewer people who had their homes broken into and 365 fewer personal robberies.

Ms Thornton said: "Our force priorities for the next year will include reducing rural crime and anti-social behaviour."

The annual crime figures showed reported instances of rape rose on the previous year, with 505 recorded in 2012/13 compared with 464 the year before.

The force also saw an increase in people coming forward to report historical sexual crimes.

The rise was "a result of highly publicised incidents and individuals", Ms Thornton said.

The force said there were nearly 80,000 fewer recorded crimes in 2012-13 than in 2006-07.

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