CRIME in the heart of the city centre has hit a five-year high.

Some 141 crimes were recorded in Angel Street, Worcester, and its surrounding 30-metre radius, between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.

Figures dating back to 2010 show that the number of crimes in the area resulting in public fear, distress or alarm peaked this year.

Cllr Allah Ditta, who represents Cathedral ward on the city council, said some of the criminality was 'part and parcel' of Worcester's vibrant nightlife.

But he also thinks that installation of extra CCTV cameras and investment in the area will help to solve the problems.

He said: "The area needs a bit of upgrading and regenerating to encourage business to come back.

"People will have difficulty committing crime because businesses would be active and people would be watching.

"There's always a late-night and early morning problem. But that's because of the clubs and we do need nightlife. That's part and parcel of the night trade."

Cllr Ditta said he had hoped councillors would back a recent proposal to redevelop the closed Co-op store in the street.

But the city council's licensing sub-committee rejected the Victorian-style gin palace project, due to concerns about late-night disorder.

The councillor added that Lowesmoor was a model example of how investing in a street can curb crime.

Inspector Chris Percival said: “We have targeted patrols and make use of dispersal orders. Obviously, the police want everyone to be able to go out and have a good time without the fear of disorder.

“Police work in the area to ensure safety. We work in partnership with taxi marshals and street pastors.

“Everywhere is now open until 5am in the morning – it is all night. 10 years ago everything finished at 2am.”

The West Mercia Police figures, released following a freedom of information request, show that Angel Street was the site of 128 recorded crimes in the year ending September 30, 2016, 137 in 2015, 122 in 2014, 134 in 2013, 152 in 2012 and 144 in 2011.

The number of offences which caused public alarm, distress or fear increased from 14 to 21 this year, resulting in a total of 73 crimes since 2010.

There have also been 156 public order offences, 234 attacks which resulted in injuries - and 110 assaults where nobody was hurt - in the street over the last seven years.