FRAUD, burglary and violent crime is up across Lancashire, according to new Home Office figures - but crime overall has dropped by 2.1 per cent.

The figures, released yesterday, show fraud and forgery increased by 9.6 per cent, by 241 crimes, from 2,498 to 2,739 crimes from September 2011 to September 2012.

Reports of burglary increased by 2.3 per cent, from 4,134 to 4,228, while violent crime increased by 1.2 per cent, from 21,006 reports to 21,257.

Overall, the county has seen 2,080 fewer victims of crime in comparison to the same period the year before.

During these dates 97,070 crimes were reported to Lancashire Constabulary, which had fallen from 99,150 in the previous 12 months.

Vehicle crime decreased by 1.8 per cent, from 8,754 to 8,595, theft by 2.5 per cent from 27,044 to 26,375, robbery by 15.6 per cent from 724 to 611, sexual offences by 0.1 per cent from 1521 to 1520, criminal damage by 7.5 per cent, from 19,477 to 18,009, and drug offences by three per cent, from 4,773 to 4,628 crimes.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said there were a number of factors contributing to the rise of fraud and forgery.

He said: “Yes, the economy is harder which could force people to stoop to such crimes.

“But I would also argue that when we are really good at visible patrols, criminals will be a bit more brazen to find ways of making money.

“There has also been a growth in the reporting of these crimes as we have tried to create a confidence in people to come forward.”

ACC Bates said the drop in crime overall last year did not tell the full story.

He said: “There hasn’t just been a 2.1 per cent decline over the past year, but a 36 per cent decline over seven years.

“We have really focused on gathering intelligence and forming community partnerships.

“Also, we try to ensure victims of crime don’t become repeat victims.”