Almost 2,000 sex offences, some of which were in public, were reported to Lancashire Constabulary last year and the figure is up slightly higher than the previous year.

According to data, 1,914 sexual offences were reported in Lancashire last year, the majority of which (1,616) were said to have led to harassment, alarm or distress.

This figure is two per cent lower than 2020's figure, suggesting either a fall in offending or alternatively a fall in people reporting offences against them.

However, worringly there were 199 reports of ‘exposure’ last year which is an increase of 23 per cent on the year before.

A person commits an offence of exposure if they intentionally expose their genitals with the intention of someone seeing them and them being alarmed or distressed.

Almost 100 (99) people were reported to have committed, or conspired to commit, an act outraging public decency; this is an increase of 20 per cent on 2020’s figures.

Outraging public decency is related to offences which criminalises behaviour or displays which are lewd, obscene or disgusting, and take place in public.

According to the data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, there are also two reports of sexual activity in a public lavatory in the last five years; one was reported in 2020 and the other was reported in 2021.

Recently it was revealed that sexual offences have reached a record high in Blackburn with Darwen.

Police received reports for 550 sexual offences in the year leading up to March – an increase of 34 per cent from the year before and the highest number since records began in 2003.

As well as a dramatic rise in sex offences in Blackburn with Darwen, there has also been a substantial increase in violent crimes, up by 19 per cent with 6,994 offences.

In total, 15,877 offences were recorded in the borough in the 12 months to March, up 16 per cent compared to the previous year, when there were 13,708.

Lancashire Constabulary has been approached for comment.