Meat and other high value foods are increasingly being stolen to order across Hertfordshire.

Data from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office shows shoplifting has gone up 8.4 per cent in the county over the past 12 months  – with 676 more offences recorded.

The latest meeting of the Police and Crime Panel, on Thursday, April 11, was told there has been an increase in the ‘stealing to order’ of high value products, such as meat.

Data for 2018/19 was highlighted showing that across Hertfordshire, shoplifting has increased the most in East Herts – rising by 43 per cent, when compared to the previous year (2017/18).

The data  also shows that the there were 1,120 more reports of vehicle crime – including theft of, theft from and attempted theft  – in the past 12 months, an increase of 13.5 per cent compared to the previous year.

There were also 1,002 more reports of assaults without injury – a 10.6 per cent rise.

However part of this increase may, it was said, reflect changes in reporting. For example, it was reported that incidents of domestic abuse may now result in two or three offences being recorded when previously it may have been one.

And finally it was highlighted that reports of stalking and harassment had increased by 22.1 per cent – with 961 additional incidents.

However it was also said that this has been foreseen, due to changes in national crime reporting, which came into effect last April (2018).

The statistics for the past 12 months are from April 2018 to March 2019. The percentage increase is the increase between 2017/18 and 2018/19.

According to the statistics, there was an increase of 1,238 crimes overall n the past 12 months. That’s an increase of 1.5 per cent on the previous year (2017/18).