TODAY The Mail lifts the lid on the scale of the task Barrow's police officers faced in 2018 as crime levels rose for another year.

Statistics released by the police revealed the number of crimes they had to deal with in the town last year.

In total, almost 7,000 crimes were reported to police in Barrow last year.

This represented an increase of 15 per cent on 2017.

According to the latest data up to December, the most commonly reported crimes were categorised under violence and sexual offences.

Anti-social behaviour was the second most reported crime on the list.

Incidents of criminal damage and arson also featured high on the list of crimes police officers most often had to deal with.

The summer months were the busiest time for Barrow police with the most crimes being reported in June, July and August.

More than 2,000 incidents were reported to officers in this period.

Chief inspector Matthew Pearman, of Cumbria Police, said: “Cumbria Constabulary are committed to tackling crime and anti-social and Cumbria remains one of the safest places to live with our officers working hard to protect the community.

“Over the last twelve months changes to the way in which Police record crime need to be taken into to consideration and its particularly important to note that more than one crime can be recorded for an incident - therefore one incident can result in multiple crimes.

"In Barrow, we have been pro-active in tackling those individuals who cause the most harm and focussing resources on areas where crime is taking place.

“If you feel you have been a victim of crime we would always urge people to come forward, speak to officers and help bring offenders to justice.”

Peter McCall, Cumbria's police and crime commissioner said the increase was in line with the rest if the country and said he wanted to increase the council tax precept of police in the county to provide more office numbers.

He said: "There is no question there has been an increase in crime and reporting of crime and the increase is actually very similar to what have seen across the country.

"It is something we have to address. The best and only way it to keep at levels we are used to is to increase numbers."

Under plans being drawn up, Cumbria would be boosted by 20 extra officers this year if the public support proposals for a rise in the precept, currently under consultation.