Ross-on-Wye has been labelled the second most crime-hit small town in Herefordshire, ranking among the top 10 most perilous out of the county’s 211 towns, villages, and cities.
Leominster is the most dangerous town according to the data, with 111 crimes per 1,000 people - 71 per cent higher than the county average.
The overall crime rate for 2022 in Ross stood at 84 crimes per 1,000 residents, a figure that overshadows Herefordshire’s average by 29 per cent.
July 2022 was a particularly grim month for the town’s residents.
Ross-on-Wye topped Herefordshire’s list for vehicle crime, with 9 incidents reported, translating to a rate of 0.88 per 1,000 inhabitants.
December 2020 was another bleak period, with the town becoming the county’s hotspot for thefts from persons, recording a rate of 0.20 per 1,000 residents.
Furthermore, in January 2019, Ross-on-Wye had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of weapon possession incidents in Herefordshire.
Violence and sexual offences dominate the crime charts in Ross-on-Wye, with 372 reported cases in 2022. This figure is 1.4 per cent higher than the previous year. On the brighter side, bicycle theft remains the least common crime, with only three incidents reported in both 2021 and 2022.
The 2023 Crime Scorecard paints a mixed picture. While Ross-on-Wye’s crime rate is 15 per cent lower than the West Midlands, it is 1.4 per cent higher than the combined figures for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
A closer look at the town’s crime trends reveals that anti-social behaviour and bicycle theft rates have improved, but there’s been a worrying increase in burglaries, criminal damage, and other crimes.
Comparatively, nearby Ledbury is 36 per cent safer, while Leominster is 32 per cent more crime-hit.
Recent crime reports from July 2023 include multiple incidents of violence and sexual offences, shoplifting, and other thefts. Most of these cases remain unresolved, with suspects either unidentified or not prosecuted.
The West Mercia Police, the territorial force serving Ross-on-Wye, faces the daunting task of tackling the rising crime rates. As the town grapples with its crime challenges, residents are urged to remain vigilant and take preventive measures, especially against the most common crimes.