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.
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories