CRIME has decreased over the last year on the Isle of Wight — and it's being attributed to the lockdowns.

However, the Island's drug offences rose by 26 per cent.

Official police records reveal that Hampshire Constabulary recorded 9,332 offences on the Island in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was a decrease of six per cent compared to the previous year, when there were 9,938.

At 66 crimes per 1,000 people, it was a far lower rate than that across England and Wales, which stood at 81.

While most types of crime was reduced, drug offences rose by 26 per cent.

Crimes recorded on the Isle of Wight included:

429 sexual offences, a decrease of nine per cent

4,348 violent offences, a decrease of three per cent

1,002 incidents of criminal damage and arson, down nine per cent

452 drug offences, up 26 per cent

122 possession of weapons such as firearms or knives, down one per cent

1,210 public order offences, up 15 per cent

1,523 theft offences, down 28 per cent

The ONS said the annual drop nationally was mainly driven by a “substantial fall” in crime of 15 per cent between April and June as the first lockdown restrictions were introduced.

While police-recorded crimes increased from July to September as restrictions were gradually eased, they fell again in the last three months of the year as lockdown measures were reimposed.

Sophie Sanders, of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “There were fluctuations in the level of crime experienced in England and Wales throughout 2020.

“Although a small proportion of these fluctuations will be the result of seasonal effects on crime trends, the majority can be attributed to the introduction and subsequent easing of national lockdown restrictions throughout the year.

“Most crime types have seen recorded offences fall year-on-year. The notable exceptions are drug offences, because of proactive police activity in crime hotspots during the first lockdown, while violence against the person also saw a small increase.”