Release of crime figures is cut

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The Independent Online
NATIONAL crime statistics will be published every six months instead of quarterly because of the public fear created by their regular release, the Home Office said yesterday, writes Terry Kirby.

The move comes in the wake of a two-year period of steadily rising crime rates, which have received regular and extensive media coverage. The process has been criticised because it can create an increased fear of crime, particularly among the elderly.

But the quarterly publication of Metropolitan Police statistics will continue. The force emphasised last night that they were always put into context. They have always been released at a different time to the national figures, which has increased the repetitiveness of media coverage.

Announcing the move yesterday, Michael Jack, a Home Office minister, said: 'It should go some way to reduce the considerable and untoward fear of crime among the public generated by the current quarterly publication.'