Violent and sexual offences in Oxfordshire have increased by more than 23 per cent in two years, new data from Thames Valley Police shows.

The data has revealed that in August 2019 there were 1,251 recorded incidents across the county labelled as ‘violent and sexual’.

These figures rose to 1,277 recorded incidents during the same period in 2020 before again increasing to 1,546 in August 2021.

The data comes as Oxford has been given a £426,000 grant to improve security around clubs and bars at night, in an effort to make the city’s streets safer for women and girls.

The Government funding was secured by Thames Valley Police and police and crime commissioner Matthew Barber.

Figures show in 2018-2019, 73 serious sexual offences were committed by strangers in Oxford, with this figure rising to 88 offences in 2019-2020.

75 per cent of these cases were crimes against women and most commonly, female victims were targeted after leaving nightclubs and while travelling home alone.

On violent offences, a Thames Valley Police spokesperson, said: “Knife crime and serious violence has been on the rise in England and Wales over the past few years and we have seen the same trend here in the last year.

“Officers, including from the newly formed Violence Reduction Unit, are sharing intelligence, exploring positive pathways and co-ordinating enforcement activity to make the biggest impact in tackling serious violence.

“Thames Valley Police is committed to working with partner agencies and local organisations, and engaging with our communities, in order to give us the best chance of identifying those who are offending, those who are at risk and to gather intelligence, in order to make a strong and sustained difference to violence.”

The spokesperson, on sexual offences, added: “We launched Project Vigilant in 2019, which has now been adopted by a number of other forces across the country.

“The project is a perpetrator focused initiative that aims to target predatory behaviour and prevent sexual offending in the night-time economy.

“We are already working hard to improve our service in respect of crimes such as rape, stalking and domestic abuse. Senior officers dedicated to these areas will see that we improve training, make better use of all our legal powers and closely monitor performance of officers and teams.

“We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to ensure that we identify and reduce risk to women and girls at every opportunity and that victims are given excellent care, support and service.”