Recorded crime 'falls by 7% in England and Wales'

Prime Minister David Cameron visits community police in Hertfordshire Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the figures as "good news" at a time of police cuts

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Crimes recorded by police in England and Wales fell by 7% in the year ending March 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

There were reductions in nearly all the main categories of crime including violence, but sexual offences rose 1%.

Separate data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales showed the number of crimes had fallen 9% since a year ago.

And the Home Office said the number of police officers had fallen to below 130,000 - 4,500 fewer than last year.

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the figures as "good news" at a time of police cuts and thanked the service for its efforts.


"We have asked them to do more with less resources. They have performed, I think, magnificently," he said.

Labour welcomed the figures, but said there was "worrying evidence" the service provided by the police was "being hollowed out" with cuts to the number of officers.

Despite the wider drop in recorded crime, one of the main categories to rise was "theft from the person" - including pick-pocketing and snatching of bags and mobile phones - up 9%.

'Great tribute'

The stealing of phones out of people's hands as they walk along the street was a particular issue in London, BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said.

Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne: "This is a really spectacular fall"

Fraud offences have also seen a big rise, up 27%. Officials suggested this was due to changes in the way fraud was recorded, with a more centralised approach.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said it was also an indication more fraud was being committed online.

Statisticians attributed the rise in sexual offences to the "Yewtree effect" - referring to Scotland Yard's operation set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal.

They suggested the number of sexual offences reported could continue to rise over the coming months, as people come forward to report historic offences.

The Crime Survey, which is based on people's experience of crime and includes offences which aren't reported, now shows offending is at its lowest level since the survey began in 1981.

Our correspondent said levels of crime had been falling since the mid 1990s, but there were some indications the decrease may now be slowing.


On LBC Radio, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said falling crime figures were "one of the great triumphs of recent years" and "a great tribute to the police".

The Home Office has also released figures on the number of police officers, showing there were 129,584 officers at the end of March - 14,000 fewer than in 2010 and the lowest number of officers since 2002.

Officer numbers fell in 37 of the 43 forces last year - with the largest percentage decreases in the City of London force and Staffordshire. In the Met there were 1,742 fewer officers.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper welcomed the fall in crime, which she said was in line with longer-term trends.

She added: "The police are doing an impressive job in increasingly difficult circumstances... but Acpo have warned that the full effect of the cuts is not yet being felt.

"As the government has made it so much harder for the police, they should not try to take credit for the work the police and communities are doing."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Please bear in mind that with an aging population the crime figures should naturally go down. A fairer comparison would be the age groups compared and % of crime per age and p[opulation.

    A sensible discussion and less polorisation of peoples views would also help

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    Me and my Mother came across a group of adults beating up a young boy on the side of the road. We phoned 999 straight away but the police had no idea where to go. We gave them the street name, postcode and names of various buildings in the area and they still had no idea where to go. That boy most likely ended up in hospital because the police were so incompietent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    One reason crime has fallen is that there's less worth stealing these days. Cars almost all have stereos & its generally built into the dashboard. Most consumer items are either too large to steal or too cheap to be worth reselling. My DVD player cost £20 new. You wouldn't get £5 for it second hand.

    Any tricks the police do to reduce reports they've always been doing. Ditto political parties

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    if police recorded crime/BS crime stats are down, crime probably is down. the fall probably percentage probably reflects the drop in the real figure.
    i know for damn sure london has got better over the years. especially here in 'scary' hackney. i bet most of these commentators never leave their houses - petrified of 'out of control' crime. get a grip. the UK, overall, is a safe place to live.

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    Sorry but the figures do not reflect reality. Changes in the way members of the public contact the police, with large regional telephone exchanges replacing local police stations, have adversely affected the reporting of crime. For instance, I rang the police to report drug dealers and was put on hold. After 15 minutes I gave up. No crime was reported because of the incompetent system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    I had my garage broken into last summer. Before contacting the police (Surrey), I called a friend who is a police sergeant (same force). He said not to bother reporting it, and went on to summarise to me how his force view this type of crime - i.e. it's just a waste of their time and they had no chance of catching the person responsible. So I didn't report it - but it still happened & was a crime

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.


    I prefer facts and the facts STATE that the police are not recording all CRIME.

    "Up to one in four incidents ignored by police should have been recorded as a crime, the police watchdog warned today. Forces are failing to accurately log thousands of crimes, including some violent offences, and instead writing them off as “no crimes”. Source. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    116. Avonar So just to re-iterate: I don' think there's been an enormous rise in unreported crime. If someone does, please actually explain why?

    People have given up reporting crimes they think the police won't bother with. I have seen vandalism in our local park, anti social behaviour of the kind that warrants an arrest but we know that the police, if called, will turn up too late, if at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    Just like Job seelers thats get put on the work programme, off the job centre books, still actually claiming job seekers. Doesn't this again show the ONS to be a fraudulent organisation using stats to help the government spin. 'Reported Crime down', actual crime probably up.

    If you believe any of this, vote Tory LOL

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    So the real solution to crime was to prevent anything being ever reported as a real crime in the first place, as you will know if you've ever tried calling the police to report something. Well done everyone, especially all those new police commissioners and anyone else due a hefty bonus from this "result".

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    The reason there's a drop in 'recorded' crime is because we all know it's a waste of time telling the police about it. They're not interested and they won't do anything.

    The crimes still happen, it's just that no-one bothers to record it any more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    RUBBISH. Crime is NOT down. A friend of mine had his wallet pick-pocketed in Covent Garden. He reported it immediately to the Police who filed it as "Wallet fell from pocket". Thus no crime is recorded. My friend protested as strongly as he dared to but they refused point blank to record it as a crime. The Police should be utterly ashamed deceiving the public and not even protecting them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Well if you redefine what crimes you count and then count them in the way you like then you will not be suprised that the figures fall......well thats what the MPs did with their expenses isn't it they will do the same with crime.......until they are found out !!! Bet this does not get published .

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    "Recorded crime" figures may be down but is ALL crime reported, no!!

    No-one can self-congratulate or even think that crime is on the decline as it simply is not. You've only to look at your local newspaper and see the headline after headline of crimes being committed right across the spectrum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    A report earlier stated many crimes in London will never be investigated as Police effort is focused on serious crime. As a result people do not report many crimes, so figures drop, so another triumph for the Home Office.

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Does that mean Crime gone down or people not reporting cause nothing happens. I will not bother registering complaint unless I really have to cause experience taught me that nothing happens.
    My SLR camera got stollen and I found it on sale on Ebay, despite reporting, police did/could do nothing. Sisters house burgled, took them 2 months to talk to a potential witness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    Well as someone once said there are Statistics , Statistics and Damn lies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    "Crimes recorded by police in England and Wales have fallen by 7%"

    How many crimes were not recorded?

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    Right. My last commen was 85. Since then the only comment's with even the slightest hint of fact to them have been.

    87. ichabod
    94. koolkarmauk

    The rest is just basely name-calling.

    I like a good debate. But you can't debate with people just ranting.

    So just to re-iterate: I don' think there's been an enormous rise in unreported crime. If someone does, please actually explain why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    My purse was grabbed the other day.I wanted to report it to the police but the station was closed and when I rang and eventually got through I was told to call back in two days if it had not been found or returned.No crime number was issued and thus not recorded.I had already cancelled my card, my finical loss was just a few pounds.I did not bother to call back. I bet there are many similar cases.


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