THERE has been a spike in the number of people reporting sexual and domestic abuse crimes in the Thames Valley, according to new a report.

The Office for National Statistics revealed there has been a 9.7 per cent increase in recorded crimes across Berkshire, in comparison to 7.7. per cent in England and Wales.

Hidden crimes such as, domestic abuse, sexual crimes and stalking as seen a rise due to more victims phoning the police to report it.

Thames Valley Police have said the reason why there has been an increase is due to the fact the recording process has changed.

Deputy chief constable Jason Hogg said: "We continue to see rises in some crime categories as victims are having more confidence to report previously hidden crime such as domestic abuse, sexual crime as well as stalking and harassment.

"The reasons for crime recording fluctuations are quite complex and are not necessarily just as a result of an actual increase in crime. The increase in overall crime numbers in the Thames Valley is linked to changes in our crime recording processes with our officers and staff now recording crimes at point of contact."

Residents main concerns in the Thames Valley is burglary and the report shows that this is a priority for the police.

Deputy chief constable Jason added: "Due to applying more proactive policing tactics such as increasing the level of stop and search, the use of knife arches, test purchasing, weapons sweeps and other preventative measures we have seen a 23.8% increase in possession of weapons.

"We are policing in challenging times with increased demand, financial uncertainty and a changing crime landscape. "Importantly the Thames Valley remains a safe place to live, work and visit with low crime rates compared to other parts of the UK and figures from the ONS highlights the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime has fallen, as only 1.5 in 10 adults were a victim of crime this year compared to 4 in 10 in 1995."