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.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now