Crime in Britain: Rural areas bear brunt of criminal offensive: Overall rate of increase slows - 'Panic' reforms attacked - Fewer murders confirm trend

THE RISE in crime slowed substantially last year, according to Home Office statistics issued yesterday, although there was an overall increase of 6 per cent on the previous year, including rises in violent crimes and a big jump in crime in some rural areas.

This compares with the 16 per cent increase of 1990-91 and were greeted with relief by Home Office ministers aware that a further double-figure rise would be politically damaging.

The number of crimes rose from 5.2 million to 5.6 million, with the biggest increases in serious violence offences (up 12 per cent); robbery (up 16 per cent) and burglary (up 11 per cent). Car crime showed a rise of 4.5 per cent in thefts from vehicles and one of just 0.6 per cent in thefts of vehicles. Sexual offences remained static.

The biggest rises were in rural areas, continuing the recent trend. Cheshire, which declared yesterday a 'crime-free day' to encourage public awareness of crime prevention, had the highest rise - almost 20 per cent. Other double-figure increases occurred in Derbyshire and Staffordshire (both 16 per cent) Kent (15 per cent), and Avon and Somerset and Cambridgeshire (14 per cent). The figures fell in Northumbria and the City of London, the latter experiencing a rise of 1.8 per cent, compared with 11 per cent in 1991. All the other large urban areas had rises below 10 per cent.

Most of the 43 forces showed a drop in clear-up rates since 1991. The national average dropped from 29 to 26 per cent of all crimes; in 1988, the figure stood at 35 per cent. The actual number of crimes cleared up fell for the first time in three years. Most violent crime is cleared up.

Police officers, ministers and criminologists are aware that the figures could be a blip. The 1989-91 period, which saw some areas recording rises of more than 30 per cent, followed two years when the rate remained static or dropped. All sides warn that the figures are subject to recording variations between forces and factors such as the incentive from insurance claims to report property crime.

Michael Jack, Minister of State at the Home Office, said that the drop in the rate of increase was encouraging after the previous year's rise. He welcomed the reduction in car crime, which was due to government crime- prevention schemes, and accepted that the rise in more rural areas may be partially due to displacement because of initiatives in the cities.

Mr Blair said: 'It is high time the Tories took crime as seriously as the public and, instead of a series of attempts to ward off bad headlines, they put forward a thought-out policy to fight crime.'

Cheshire police said yesterday evening that the number of crimes recorded so far during the county's 'crime-free day' was 211, including 78 burglaries, 42 theft and deception cases, 21 motor vehicle thefts and 37 other vehicle offences. The daily average for the time of year is 212.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

h2 Recruit Ltd: Senior Sales Executive - SaaS/ Cyber Security - £60,000

£32000 - £34000 per annum + Uncapped OTE £65,000 : h2 Recruit Ltd: Looking for...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Executive - Software-as-a-Service/ SaaS - £42,000

£28000 - £31000 per annum + Bonus + Progression: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you looki...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Inside Sales Manager - SaaS/ Financial Software - £90,000

£60000 - £65000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Rapidly expandin...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager - Bristol

£31000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the UK, the major project fo...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game