DOMESTIC abuse crimes recorded in parts of Oxfordshire have soared by almost 20 per cent in three years.

New figures released by Thames Valley Police under a Freedom of Information request revealed the rise, just as a regulator raised concerns about the safety of some domestic abuse victims in the area.

In Cherwell and West Oxfordshire districts, the number of domestic abuse crimes has risen from 1,010 in 2016 to 1,129 in 2017 and 1,349 in 2018, up 19 per cent.

In South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, 1,115 domestic abuse crimes were recorded in 2018, up 17 per cent on 2016.

In Oxford, numbers increased by 12 per cent from 897 to 943.

Figures covered the period between November and October, except in Oxford, where the time frame ran from October to September.

Today HM Inspectorate of Probation, which investigates youth offending and probation services, rated that in the Thames Valley 'requires improvement'.

It awarded its second-worst rating to the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), which is responsible for supervising about 4,000 convicts serving community and prison sentences, and promoting rehabilitation following release.

One concern was weaknesses in work to keep victims safe, including in domestic abuse cases.

Dame Glenys Stacey, Her Majesty's chief inspector of probation, said: "We found too often that the basic checks with other organisations were just not being done.

"Addressing the areas for improvement we found in this inspection is critical to improving the quality of the services delivered and keeping people safe."

The report did, however, find the CRC to be well led with energetic staff and 'knowledgeable senior leaders'.

Dame Glenys said she was 'encouraged by the strength in leadership arrangements and the motivated workforce'.

She added: "We acknowledge the CRC is keen to improve the quality of its work and we hope the findings and recommendations will assist the organisation to do this."

There was also praise for the organisation's drive for continuous improvement and strong culture of learning and development.