Sex offences committed in East Renfrewshire rose by 28% last year, new figures show, but the total number of crimes since 2018 has fallen.

Latest statistics released by the Scottish Government reveal that 2,250 crimes in the local area were recorded by police in the year to last December – down by 15% from the total in 2018.

But between 2021 and 2022, the number of sexual crimes increased from 93 to 119.

The number of reported rapes and attempted rapes rose by 7%, while sexual assaults increased by 63%.

Levels of violent crime have dropped by 5% in the past year but the number of incidents related to domestic abuse have risen.

Reports of serious assaults and attempted murders fell from 29 in 2021 to 18 last year, while common assaults decreased by 9%.

Crimes of dishonesty have dropped by 2% overall since 2018 but increased by 18% in the year up to December, with incidents of fraud soaring from 64 in 2018 to 231 in 2022.

There were 109 reported housebreakings last year, which is a 36% reduction compared with 2018, although this also represents an increase of 18% from 2021.

Across Scotland, a total of 287,678 crimes were recorded in the year to last December – a drop of 2% from the previous year and 4% from 2018.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “Most people do not experience crime and these latest figures show reductions in incidents such as housebreaking and vandalism compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“This welcome trend reflects separate research showing people in Scotland are significantly less likely to be a victim of crime than those living in England and Wales.

“People here also feel safe walking in their communities during the evening.

“We recognise that there is still work to be done, which is why we have taken robust action to tackle sexual offending and have invested £93million over the past five years to ensure that victims’ rights and needs are at the centre of Scotland’s criminal justice system.

“We also know the harm cyber crime and fraud can inflict on communities and support the efforts of Police Scotland and partners in tackling these kinds of crime.

“Nonetheless, these historically-low levels of crime are testimony to the continued efforts across policing, justice and community safety partners to deliver a safer Scotland for everyone.”