Police forces in England and Wales recorded surprising falls in burglary, robbery and violence in the three months to September of last year. Total offences reported to the police fell 8 per cent – which represents almost 100,000 fewer crimes.
Car thefts, including thefts of vehicles and of belongings left inside vehicles, were down by a fifth. Fraud and criminal damage likewise fell by double-digit percentages, although there were rises in sexual offences, pickpocketing and also bicycle thefts (which totalled 34,600 in the three months), and a small increase in gun crime.
Officials and academics had expected acquisitive crimes such as burglary and robbery to shoot up during the recession. This wave of crime has failed to materialise, with the large urban centres recording overall falls.
Crime increased in some non-urban areas, however. Surrey Police, for example, logged an 8 per cent rise in violent crime.