Smartphone pickpockets blot 30-year low in official crime statistics
Recorded crime fell last year to its lowest level since the 1980s despite a surge in pick-pocketing, official statistics revealed today.
Numbers of offences reported to police in England and Wales dropped by eight per cent between 2011 and 2012, with falls in almost every category of crime.
The only blemish was an eight per cent rise in instances of "theft from the person" fuelled by thieves targeting smartphones, including bike riders snatching the devices from users' hands.
Police recorded 3.7m crimes last year, half of a peak in crime levels in 1995, the Office for National Statistics reported.
A similar trend was uncovered by the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which is based on interviews with the public. It estimated that 8.9 million crimes were committed in England and Wales in 2012, a decrease of five per cent.
The Crime Prevention Minister, Jeremy Browne, said: "It is particularly encouraging that this downward trend is replicated across every police force in England and Wales. They have shown an impressive ability to accommodate necessary budget reductions whilst still cutting crime."
The ONS said the figures include the 214 sexual offences related to the high-profile Operation Yewtree associated with disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile. Despite this, there was a three per cent overall fall in recorded sexual offences.
There were 107, 471 offences of theft from the person recorded in the year to December 2012, compared to 99,396 in the previous year. The ONS said the rate of increase had sped up since 2008/2009. This increase occurred almost entirely in London.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship