The ‘crime severity score’ developed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) ranks crime according to the harm it causes its victims.
Other crime recording methods simply measure the number of crimes reported.
Official figures show that 90 crimes were reported for every 1,000 people in West Yorkshire last year, compared to 87 in London.
The crime severity score means murder is given the top weighting while possession of cannabis has the lowest.
Figures show people in West Yorkshire are more likely to suffer serious, violent and sexual crimes compared to other parts of England and Wales.
The weighting for each offence is calculated by analysing sentencing data – the tougher the sentence imposed for a particular crime, the greater the weight for that offence.
Once a weight has been calculated for each offence, it is multiplied by the number of incidents.
That total is then divided by the population for the area in question to give the crime severity score.
West Yorkshire recorded the hightest crime severity score in the country at 13.6.
The second highest was London’s Metropolitan Police at 13.2.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams of West Yorkshire Police, said: “West Yorkshire Police is committed to reducing crime, reoffending and anti-social behaviour, whilst protecting and supporting victims and witnesses.
“While we do sit highest in terms of crimes per 1,000 population and crime severity, the two are interlinked and this is a recent rise. We are not that dissimilar from other Metropolitan forces, who face the same complex and diverse challenges that we do.
“While crime figures show that recorded crime was up by 24%, when comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months, our analysis has shown the actual rise in becoming a victim of crime has risen by just 4%.
“For the last 18 months, we have worked hard to ensure accurate crime recording figures.”
But the force also makes clear the demand for resources is increasing particularly with greater pressures for missing persons.
“Not only is recorded crime up, but so is the demand placed on West Yorkshire Police,” she said.
The ONS said the severity score is intended to complement existing police recorded crime data, and is aimed principally as an “analytical tool” for expert analysts.