CRIMES committed at Bradford-district schools are on the rise.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that in the 2017-18 financial year, there were 824 crimes recorded at the district’s schools.

The total was up from 744 the previous year, and represented a 41 per cent increase on the 2015-16 figure of 583.

The most common crime was violence against the person – numbers more than doubled from 122 in 2015-16 to 281 last year.

Second most common was burglary, although the total has dropped since 2015-16, as has the number of thefts, which was the fourth most common crime.

Cases of arson and criminal damage rose from 95 in 2015-16 to 118.

Public order offences rocketed by 500 per cent, from 18 to 90, and sexual offences have also been on the increase.

A number of crimes such as possession of weapons, vehicle crime and drugs offences have risen compared to 2015-16, but were lower in 2017-18 than in the previous year.

The crimes cover offences committed in a school location, and not all offences may have taken place inside the school or involved students or staff.

In December, a haul of iPads worth thousands of pounds was stolen from Crossflatts Primary School.

West Yorkshire Police said the number of crimes could actually be even higher, because some ‘low level’ incidents were dealt with in schools rather than involving the police.

A spokesman added: “West Yorkshire Police work closely with schools in Bradford district through its Safer Schools Partnership and we have dedicated officers in more than a third of our secondary schools.

“Their roles are tailored to the different needs of the schools but their primary focus is on early intervention, building positive relationships with pupils to help them be safe and feel safe.

“As part of this, PCSOs are working with primary schools to make children familiar with the police and give them the confidence to engage with officers from a young age.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills, said every school in the district had contact with a safer school officer for at least half a day every week.

He added: “Any crime in school is one too many and while it’s good that figures for some crimes have come down, we all need to support the police, schools and voluntary sector in doing more to tackle crime in schools.”