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 434.

    The reason why recorded crime has fallen is simply because lots of people don't trust the police, every now and again, when i come across a police officer walking in town they can be very rude.

  • rate this

    Comment number 433.

    Enable Have Your Say on 'Boston bomb accused Dzhokhar Tsarnaev denies charges' please.

  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    A lot of people are talking about unreported crime.

    While this isn't in the police figures, it is in the Crime Survey for England and Wales figures, which has also shown a decline in crime rates. The Crime Survey specifically aims to pick up unreported crimes, and so the fact that both data sources are showing a decline would lead me to believe that there has been a real decrease.

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    Meh, I'm a believer in the whole, crime levels are pretty much static and these stats reflect nothing more than a small portion of crimes being committed. I doubt crime levels really do fall or rise by even 1% in reality.

  • rate this

    Comment number 430.

    People very rightly put forward the non-recorded crime argument, but also remember there are employees in back offices reviewing crimes with the sole intention of having them downgraded to a lesser offence should the criteria for a higher offence not quite match when in the past they would have remained at the higher offence. Its all clever manipulation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 429.

    You report a fall in recorded crime and police numbers and state there is no correlation. You should note that almost invariably public disorder offences (which count as violent offences in the recording rules) are reported by police officers, so 15,000 fewer officers must mean fewer recorded violent offences. The police believe their own propaganda! would be a better headline.

  • rate this

    Comment number 428.

    This is absolutely rubbish the way police make these figures up has changed ..I run my own rental business , A few years ago if i had equipment stolen the police would crime it and retrieve it . Now , they say its not a crime they refuse to help they refuse to crime it .
    they spend more time on the things like speed traps

  • rate this

    Comment number 427.

    Try reporting financial crime at your local station and see how far you get. The reality is that crime has been falling in most western countries for a number of years - nothing to do with good policing but they will still try to take the credit and see if they can push for a better deal than the current one of retiring at 48 with a 2/3 final salary pension and lump sum. A gravy train....

  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    Tim Browning

    They don't record any fraudulent crime, so card fraud is not a crime apparently. Web fraud is not a crime in the crime stats.
    Of course it is falling!

    It would certainly make a difference with fraud up 27% .
    "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    If crime has fallen by 7% wouldn't it follow that prisons should be 7% emptier, but in reality we know that its not true just like the figures they expect us to believe .

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    Labour needs the crime rate to go up to vindicate their constant opposition to the cuts in police numbers.

    No wonder posters sympathetic to their cause are not happy. Shame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    No more like the crime has gone down because it is completely pointless to call the police as they never turn up. I live in an area which more than regular has "minor crimes" such as smashing windows, stealing from shops ect. as a community we have stopped reporting it as nothing happens - theres no punishment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    The figures are not being manipulated. Labour is not in power anymore

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    417 JamesW
    campaign outside no 10 are you sure the police would let you do that.
    And 7% of crime could well be the result of unreported crime and the police are instrumental in cause of it by not responding to those that are reported.

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    A triumph for those who have noted crime levels falling internationally.Many police must be crying in their beer,less police AND less crime.Of course all the old excuses will be trotted out,like people not bothering to report or systemic changes.
    It needs to be realized that police numbers don't mean increased efficiency.It's good to see SINGLE patrol police again,rather than two coming along.

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    They don't record any fraudulent crime, so card fraud is not a crime apparently. Web fraud is not a crime in the crime stats.

    Of course it is falling!

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    Yaaay ! The governments joke of the day .

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    Of course there will be crime that has not been reported.

    But readers of this article would be pretty immature to attribute the fall in recorded crime to simply crime that has not been recorded; instead of reflecting that the level of crime might have actually fallen itself.

    Such people should grow up and be more objective. If you have a problem with the government, go campaign outside No. 10

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    With prisons purportedly at bursting point I should like to feel that there is no-one left out there to commit any more crimes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    There are plenty of good police officers in the force, and many do a sensible job of it.
    Unfortunately, having to turn a blind eye to the bad cops rather lessens their credibility.
    Local police stations & local bobbies on the beat is the answer for a better community not sitting 15 miles away waiting for a phonecall after the suspects have made their escape.


Page 8 of 29


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