MORE people fell victim to violent crime in East Lancashire last year, new figures revealed.

Across the region, ‘violence against the person’ offences – such as attempted murder, assault, and neglect – rocketed by an average of 9.5 per cent from 2012/13 to 2013/14.

Every town in East Lancashire recorded a rise of up to 14 per cent, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed.

In Blackburn with Darwen, 2,066 people were attacked, with more than half of the victims injured, up from 1,909 the year before, a rise of eight per cent.

In Burnley, the figure increased from 1,441 to 1,642 during the same period, a rise of 14 per cent.

Offences also increased by 14 per cent in Hyndburn, and Pendle, 10 per cent in the Ribble Valley, and six per cent in Rossendale.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said the cost of living crisis, which has left some families reliant on food banks and struggling to pay the bills, could have contributed to the rise.

He added: “I was always told by police that they expected a rise in violence against the person, which has been rising, as austerity has impacted on the cost of living.

“The crisis has impacted on people’s daily lives and violence against the person has gone up, particularly domestic violence. The message has to go out that no matter how bad things are, violence is wrong and leads to terrible consequences, and can scar people for life.

“There are better ways to resolve issues.

“If people are struggling with money, they need to seek advice.”

Mr Jones said random attacks carried out by yobs should still be taken ‘very, very seriously’.

He added: “People have obviously got mental health problems when they engage in that sort of response.”

Nobody from Lancashire Police was available for comment.