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 294.

    Lots of people saying unreported crime has risen.

    If you have been a victim of crime and don't report it then it will go unsolved and it will not be logged as a crime, because only you and the criminal know of it.

    Please then don't complain about unreported crime rising.

    Your ignorance is aiding the criminals, the police need to map crime properly to target the offenders.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    England 2023,

    Emaciated child: "Mummy - who's that funny man in the strange clothes?"

    Emaciated mother: "Oh - yes, he's a policeman - we used to have these protecting people before the Tories destroyed the country. Now lets get to the food bank & back to our cardboard box before the sun goes down and the murderers and rapists come out into the dark unlit streets."

    (soon to be a) True story.

  • rate this

    Comment number 292.

    279. Tims
    Crime is not reported because the police will do NOTHING compared to many years ago. You trusted your Bobby then - today, no way.

    Crime is obviously reported, hence the figures. The fact you don't "trust your Bobby, says more about you than the police.

  • rate this

    Comment number 291.

    Surely we are all perfectly happy to know that should we be subjected to crime that results in serious injury or murder the guilty party is likely to be caught on CCTV and eventually apprehended?
    Get Real Politicians!

  • rate this

    Comment number 290.

    Sssssssh! Don't mention "unrecorded", you get marked down

  • rate this

    Comment number 289.

    In my experience there is such apathy with regard to the police many crimes are not reported, very sad, but I suppose it helps their statistics!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 288.

    Fair comment Steve 84 did skim over the story quick but I really wonder who they asked.
    It's also contradictory to have a headline referring to 'recorded' crime then include offenses which aren't reported.
    From personal/friends/family experience as well as local press I strongly disagree with this report.
    I suggest that many are just more accepting of petty crime and misdemeanours than I.

  • rate this

    Comment number 287.

    This is nonsense as usual, people just don't report crime anymore. Police stations are closed down, my nearest is 14 miles away, there are no bobbies with local knowledge, and of the ones that do turn up many are so PC its a wonder they can get out of bed without reporting a hate crime. The good ones with some common sense and a strong arm are so spread out as to make no difference...

  • rate this

    Comment number 286.

    I must admit, every time I have reported a crime (running a business, there have been many) the police have been sympathetic and nearly always sent an officer to see me, even for trivial offences.

    The problem is, out of the many crimes I have reported they have only ever solved one.

  • rate this

    Comment number 285.


    Your own Police Federation have stated that Officers are too scared to whistle blow on the dubious measures used to record or not record crime. Mobile phone theft recorded as 'lost'. Reclassification of more serious crime to down grade it. Crimes recorded as no crime because there is no evidence. 10 burglaries reported as one. The list is endless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 284.

    So people are reporting less crime, that doesn't mean there is less crime. It could mean some people don't think it's worth reporting the crime, are scared of reporting the crime or they did report the crime but no one answered their 101 call, which we already knew was happening. I would suggest that the condem police cut backs are having a direct effect on crime, in a bad way!

  • rate this

    Comment number 283.

    What about unrecorded crime? All those thefts and vandalisms that nobody reports because they know nothing will be done. 60 years ago almost every such crime was reported and many solved. Now they just disappeared from the statistics, so we look as if we're in a less crime ridden society than the 1950s. Absurd.

  • rate this

    Comment number 282.

    To the posters saying lock up those who caused the financial crisis, I say yes too right we should.
    Dear Police, please place on the wanted list:
    Tony Blair (Mr Boom n Bust)
    Gordon Brown (what crisis?)
    Alister Darling (what's my job?)
    sod it, just round up all those wearing the red commy rosette.

  • rate this

    Comment number 281.

    Yes, "recorded" crime has fallen...

    Because you have to be bleeding to death for the police to come out to the crime.

  • rate this

    Comment number 280.

    This seems to be good news but the figures are so easily manipulated that I find it difficult to be pleased.Some forces don't record bilking if there is no statement of complaint or reclassify assault if no visible injury.This reduces figures substantially,as does arresting a person for breaching the peace instead of a public order offence. Fudging I'm afraid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 279.

    Crime is not reported because the police will do NOTHING compared to many years ago. You trusted your Bobby then - today, no way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    185. captainswing1 "I live part of the year abroad and there is no crime because everyone has a firearms certificate mmmmh !"

    Really? No crime? Do share with us the location of this utopia.

  • rate this

    Comment number 277.

    the only reason to report a crime now is if you need to make an insurance claim. My police station clsoes on the weekeds now so I would ahve difficulty reporting it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 276.

    The manipulation of statistics is not fraud it is interpretation. Like criminal activity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 275.

    What a load of political rubbish.
    Another Tory hype to prove less Police= less Crime.
    Absolute bull.


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