Crime drops to lowest level for three decades

Official statistics reveal 10% reduction in criminal offences

The number of criminal offences fell by 10 per cent over the past 12 months to a 32-year low, according to the most authoritative measure of crime levels.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), based on interviews with the public, estimated there were eight million incidents of crime in the 12 months to the end of September, the lowest figure since it was established in 1981. It found that violent crime dropped by 13 per cent and overall household crime, including burglary, fell by 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, police recorded 3.7 million offences over the period, a fall of three per cent, although there were rises in levels of shoplifting, mugging and fraud, crimes that could be linked to tough economic times.

Sexual offences leapt by 17 per cent, a rise attributed to the “Yewtree effect”, which has led to a surge in numbers of victims coming forward following revelations about Jimmy Savile’s predatory behaviour and the prosecutions of other celebrities.

The figures were released this morning by the Office for National Statistics.

The recorded crime figures are the first to be released since they were stripped of the official “gold standard” mark by the statistics watchdog amid accusations they were being manipulated by the police.

They showed a four per cent rise in shoplifting and a seven per cent increase in theft from the person.

Most police force areas reported a fall in recorded crime with the exceptions of Northumbria, City of London, and British Transport Police, which showed a one per cent increase, and Cumbria, Gwent, Humberside and Merseyside which showed no change.

Kent had an eight increase but this is thought to be largely due to a change in recording practices.

The Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “Both the recorded crime statistics and the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales show that police reform is working and crime is continuing to fall. Overall, crime has fallen under this coalition government by more than 10 per cent according to the Crime Survey and this is mirrored by the fall in police recorded crime since 2010.

“England and Wales are safer than they have been for decades with crime now at its lowest level since the survey began in 1981.”

 

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine