Latest Public Sector News

23.01.14

Lowest number of criminal offences for 32 years

Crime fell by 10% over the past year, the Crime Survey of England and Wales has found. An estimated 8 million offences were recorded; the lowest level since the survey began 32 years ago.

Violent crime had fallen by 13%, but there were small rises in crimes associated with the recession. For example, there was a 4% rise in shoplifting and a 7% rise in ‘theft from the person’.

The survey also showed a 17% rise in the number of sexual offences, although this could be partly due to the so-called ‘Yewtree effect’, where more victims come forward to report historical offences.

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker said: “England and Wales are safer than they have been for decades with crime now at its lowest level since the survey began in 1981. The government has made clear that recorded crime statistics must be as robust as possible and we have a strong record on reinforcing their independence and accountability.

“We asked HMIC (HM Inspectorate of Constabulary) in June to carry out an audit of the quality of crime recording in every police force. And earlier this month, the home secretary wrote to chief constables emphasising that the police must ensure that crimes are recorded accurately and honestly.”

The contested police-recorded crime figures, which lost their "national statistics" status earlier this month, also show a decline of 3% over the same period.

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