Violent crime recorded in West Dunbartonshire is up by almost a third.

In total, 152 incidents were recorded by police in 2019, up from 119 the previous year – a 27.7 per cent rise.

Housebreaking crimes have also increased by 27.7 per cent compared to the previous year.

Last year there were 143 incidents reported to police – up from 112 in 2018.

There were an increased number of incidents recorded at both domestic and commercial premises.

The figures were revealed in a Police Scotland quarterly report.

Councillors discussed the findings at a meeting of the community planning committee on Thursday, February 13.

The report also reveals there has been a slight increase in serious assaults, up from 68 to 71, and attempted murders rose from three to six over the same period.

Sexual crimes rose by 33.1 per cent from 118 the previous year to 157.

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Rapes increased from 29 to 36.

Robberies, however, dropped from 13 to seven in the same period.

According to the report, there was a 17 per cent reduction in vehicle crime, as well as a decrease in instances of shoplifting, down 13.1 per cent.

Worryingly, there were some 31 bogus crimes since April 1, which equates to between three and four per week.

The most common were distraction thefts and social engineering frauds in which criminals exploit a person's trust in order to obtain money or confidential details from them.

Councillors heard that there have been 16 potential drug related deaths, most of which were men between the ages of 35 and 50.

In the three cases confirmed by toxicology reports, each victim had taken Etizolam, which is commonly known as street Valium.

Police in West Dunbartonshire carried out on average 138.8 stop and searches each month.