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 234.

    More lies. The ONS will be telling us next that the grass is blue and the sky is green. Not to worry, seems that most Brits love living in a dictatorship, as long as they have the latest mobile phones, there's no distracting them, particularly with anything as pointless and sordid as the truth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    A few years ago, myself & my colleagues were walking back from a meeting to our cars. We all witnessed 2 youths breaking into cars at the venue carpark. I immediately called the Police & was politely informed that officers were too busy to attend. So we left. Half a mile down the road, 3 officers were operating speed cameras. As a citizen I insisted that they attend & was threatened with arrest!

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    Yay! Crime is down.
    This means we can make more savings by further cutting the police force.
    Then when people start noticing the effects, slow response times, crime levels rising again & general public dissatisfaction we can claim the constabulary is unfit for today's purpose & sell it off to G4$.

    Cynical or inevitable?

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    I feel the recorded crime rate is down due to the police is more likely to reject certain crime reports. I have reported a fraud case someone claiming to be a lawyer forging a tenancy reference letter of a non-existence solicitor firm, but the police responded they are not pursuing the case as it does not score high enough points compared to other fraud cases in the area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    personally i've 'possibly' committed several victimless crimes in the past month that haven't been recorded and have crimes committed against me every day, usually variants of hate crime and racism, just the other day I was in fear of being in greater poverty and not being able to sustain myself (not that I have a small holding or anything to actually sustain myself with).

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    after 5+years working for the police i know only too well how we manipulate the figures. Latest report of a cananbis factory in a pensioners home amounting to 3 crimes.cultivation of cannabis, criminal damage and fraud. guess what, no crime recorded! More + more crimes are being fobbed off if we cant get a result out of it + we simply dont record them.These are management instructions not officers

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    "low paid poorly qualified financial regulators don’t have a clue." I would suggest you do some research on that statement! FCA staff are well paid, the main problem is that they rely on ex-compliance staff and graduates rather than people with knowledge on how business lines operate and how markets can be manipulated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    Mat - I am trying to find a blank copy of the survey, but so far not been able to track one down.

    The stats are useless without knowing the question....did 9% less people witness a crime or 9% less people report a crime.

    9% less people reporting would seem to fit in better with the majority of posters on here believe to the case...unless you believe the public are involved in a mass conspiracy!

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    I do not think it could be made up.
    It is in black and white on my monitor, care of BBC :

    9th Paragraph:

    "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. "

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

    Oh REALLY !!??!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.


    I'm not sure if this is good news. Does it mean there is less crime, lesc crime being reported, less people being caught or that there is crime but current reporting and detection methods are not picking it up?

    Who knows, but apparently I need psyciatric help?

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    I'm not sure if this is good news. Does it mean there is less crime, lesc crime being reported, less people being caught or that there is crime but current reporting and detection methods are not picking it up?

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Crime is changing, more people get robbed on the Internet etc. a lot of this goes unrecorded as the police are unable to do much about it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    And this shows yet again that crime is not stopped by police. Bobbies on the beat do not work. Front line police are not necessary. Society and cultural issues are at work here not PC Plod and his dreadful detection and prosecution rates.

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    BBC, may I suggest a new name for HYS.
    How about "Bash the gov page" or "Labour spin blog"

    Is there a link to this page from the Labour party website?

    Please people just accept the fact that the coalition is working, probably unlike many of the posters on here!

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    The biggest crimes in the UK are never recorded. They are being perpetrated in the City of London by bankers, hedge fund managers, commodity traders etc. They have invented very complex financial instruments to “acquire” money from ordinary people. Laws have not been invented yet to stop them and low paid poorly qualified financial regulators don’t have a clue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    Work 'in the system'. it's true that crime is reduced, however that is not the whole story. Many attempted break ins are recorded as criminal damage - always trying to reduce the category of the crime. That comes from the top. Doesn't mean police are less busy, they are struggling to cope. They deal with massive social problems, missing persons, mental health, road accidents, public order etc

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    Dunno where you lot live but my perception is that it's well down round my way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    Crime figures since the early 90s have been manipulated to bring crime figures down since the creation of crime management units.The parameters have changed and incidents that were previously recorded as a crime are now not classified or recorded in a different category. Thought spin was for exclusive use of politicians!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    I cannot find a blank copy of the survey to scrutinise the questions/terminology or information the demographic on the net so far. Anybody able to find this?

    I have been on National office for statistics, UKdataservice website but nothing jumps out as providing the information I seek....worryingly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    Once again, people are criticising the official *police* figures, whilst ignoring the non-police *survey* that shows a similar fall in crime.

    For crime not to have fallen, then both (a) the police must be lying/not recording all crime they are told about and (b) the British public must be lying (why???) to an independent survey.

    Are the public involved in a mass-conspiracy?


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