Victims of sex offences have been urged to come forward after South Yorkshire Police revealed a huge rise in the crimes.
Chief Inspector Iain Chorlton issued the appeal, as new figures showed a 51 per cent increase in the offences in a year.
He said: “We want more people to be more confident in reporting sexual offences. We want more reports of sexual offences because we know it’s under-reported.
“We are working hard to build the confidence of people to report what we know to be under-reported, so please come forward.”
Chief Constable David Crompton said: “We are committed to the robust investigation of any allegations of sexual offences.
“The increase is a positive indication victims feel they can report their concerns, knowing they will be afforded the best possible care and support.”
The rise in sex offences, from 844 to 1,277, is in contrast to an overall 3 per cent reduction in the number of crimes year-on-year for 2013 against 2012 – down from 94,306 to 91,266.
Car theft dropped 19 per cent and robbery 15 per cent.
But the number of ‘positive outcomes’ for sex offences – which measures how many reported crimes result in a charge, summons to court or caution for the alleged offender – is down year-on-year for April-March 2013-14 by 0.5 per cent against 2012-13 and Mr Chorlton says the force needs to ‘do better’.
He said: “We want actual crime to reduce and we want to increase our positive outcomes to the maximum.
“We want the people of South Yorkshire to be less likely to be victims of crime than anywhere else in the country.”
The force said the surge in reports of sex offences is due to the ‘Jimmy Savile effect’.
Victims of historic offences are now reporting the crimes after hundreds of people came forward to say they had been attacked by the former TV presenter, following his death in 2011.
Mr Crompton said: “We are committed to working to make the county an increasingly uncomfortable one in which to commit crime.”
1.9 - Percentage fall in ‘Positive outcomes’ for crime in South Yorkshire.
7 - Percentage rise in offence of possessing weapons. Elsewhere, shoplifting up 6 per cent.
10 - Arson, criminal damage, drug offences all 10 per cent down, burglary five per cent down, vehicle crime four per cent down