NORTH Yorkshire is safest place in England with an extremely low crime rate, new government figures reveal.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) say people living in the county are almost half as likely to be a victim of a crime than they are nationally, despite a 16 per cent increase in recorded offences in the county.

One of North Yorkshire’s most senior police officers said that while the very low crime rate is encouraging, the rise highlights the “challenges we continue to face in policing”.

The figures were published in the (ONS) “Crime in England and Wales, year ending March 2019” bulletin.

The report shows there were a total of 45,211 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 55.1 per 1,000 of the population.

Nationally the rate is 89.5 per cent, meaning people in North Yorkshire are almost half as likely to have a crime committed against them.