REPORTS of anti-social behaviour have risen in Worcester while the country was in lockdown.

Police have attributed a significant proportion of t he rise to people reporting breaches of lockdown restrictions and Covid-19-related incidents while more people were at home.

The rise was revealed as part of the most recent crime data released by West Mercia, which showed crime overall declined in May in comparison to January. The map shows the crime hotspots in the city.

The worst area for reported crimes in May was Cathedral ward - but this had declined since January.

Cathedral covers a large part of the city - but, according to the map, the city centre received the most crime reports in May.

According to the most recent stats that month, the area received 360 crimes reports - a drop on the start of the year when there were 453 reports.

One hundred and fifty-nine of those May reports were anti social behaviour, while 71 were violence and sexual offences.

City councillor, Lynn Denham said: “The Cathedral ward has the largest number of residents and it’s also in the city centre.

“As to the change in crime during lockdown we have experienced a reduction in shoplifting but a significant increase in bike thefts. And that’s because they are a valuable item that’s easy to nick and easy to sell.

“During lockdown there’s been more reports of domestic abuse and an escalation of severity. It’s causing real harm and difficulties for people. Lockdown undoubtedly changed the pattern of crime.”

Chief Inspector Gareth Morgan said: “Since the Covid-19 legislation came into place there has been a reduction in overall crime, however we have seen an increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB).

“Whilst the statistics show there is a lot to be positive about, we understand the impact that any crime can have on those who experience it, and we constantly seek to improve our performance and find new and better ways to deliver our service to the community and prevent people becoming a victim of crime.

“One such adaption to meet the needs of our communities is the recent introduction of crime and ASB reporting on our website. We believe this has encouraged and supported people in reporting incidents quickly and easily.

“A significant proportion of the increased ASB can be attributed to Covid-19 related incidents and reporting of suspected breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions.

“Our local policing teams continue to target prolific offenders, working with our communities to improve security and safety and carrying out thorough investigations to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

The Cathedral ward had the following reports in May:

• Violence and sexual offences 71

• Anti social behaviour 159

• Possession of weapons 4

• Vehicle crime 5

• Other crime 6

• Drugs 8

• Burglary 12

• Other theft 14

• Bike theft 18

• Criminal damage and arson 19

• Shoplifting 19

• Public order 25

Reports of crime and anti-social behaviour in Martley and Tenbury have doubled.

In January there were 60 reports, however in May there were 127, which included:

• Anti social behaviour 82

• Violence and sexual offences 22

• Bike theft 1

• Burglary 5

• Criminal damage and arson 3

• Drugs 3

• Other theft 3

• Public order 7

• Vehicle crime 1

Data from St Johns and Bedwardine shows 205 reports to police. According to the published data, there was an increase from 114 reports in January to 205.

• Anti social behaviour 108

• Violence and sexual offences 52

• Bike theft 6

• Burglary 7

• Criminal damage and arson 5

• Drugs 3

• Other theft 7

• Public order 11

• Shoplifting 3

• Theft from the person 1

• Vehicle crime 2

In the Arboretum and Claines areas, 208 incidents were reported. This has risen from 158 reports at the start of the year.

• Anti social behaviour 114

• Violence and sexual offences 36

• Bike theft 11

• Burglary 5

• Criminal damage and arson 13

• Drugs 6

• Other theft 4

• Public order 3

• Shoplifting 12

• Theft from the person 1

• Other crime 3

In Battenhall and Nunnery there were 181 incidents compared to 121 reports.

• Anti social behaviour 87

• Violence and sexual offences 48

• Bike theft 7

• Burglary 6

• Criminal damage and arson 7

• Drugs 3

• Other theft 2

• Possession of weapons 1

• Public order 7

• Robbery 1

• Shop lifting 9

• Theft from the 1

• Vehicle crime 2

In Kempsey and Alfrick there were 86 reported incidents, in comparison to 56 five months prior.

• Anti social behaviour 44

• Violence and sexual offences 19

• Bike theft 1

• Burglary 3

• Criminal damage and arson 6

• Drugs 2

• Other theft 4

• Possession of weapons 1

• Public order 4

• Vehicle crime 2