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Latest crime statistics released

23 April 2009

The figures released today show that crime remains stable compared to the year before.

The statistics, based on British Crime Survey (BCS) interviews and police records found that violent crime, domestic burglary, vandalism and car theft all held steady, compared to the same period in 2007. The risk of being a victim of crime also remained stable, at a historical low of 23%.

The British Crime Survey is believed to be the more reliable measure of trends in crime, as it has a consistent methodology, and is unaffected by changes in reporting by police, or by recording practices which can vary among forces.

Read the full quarterly report on the Home Office Development and Statistics website

Key figures

From October to December 2008, the total number of crimes recorded by the police fell by 4%, compared with same period in 2007.

Police recorded violence against the person fell by 6%, and robbery fell by 2%, although robberies involving knives or sharp instruments increased by 5%. Vehicle crime fell by 7% and provisional figures show that firearms offences were down by 16%.

Drug offences rose by 6%, which relates to police being able to issue more cannabis warnings. Domestic burglary increased by 4%, and there was a 25% rise in theft from the person, although the comparable recorded crime figure has fallen by 4%. 

BCS interviews in 2008 found that how much people worry about violent crime, burglary and car crimes remained stable compared with the previous year.

Crime down by 39% since 1997

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said today’s figures show that overall crime is stable or falling, and that the risk of being a victim remains at a record low.

Since 1997, overall crime has fallen by 39%, violence is down by 40% and burglary is down by 55%. Robbery and vehicle crime has also fallen. He said, ‘Violent crime, robbery, sexual offences and firearm offences continue to fall and I particularly welcome the 12% fall in knife related murder.’

‘But we know we are facing some new challenges now and are focussing our experience and knowledge to tackle these head-on. That is why we have already responded to early concerns about burglary - working with police, charities, DIY stores and insurers to increase enforcement activity, target repeat offenders and give practical advice to help people secure their homes.’

He said that record numbers of police are working to tackle local crime priorities and make sure we keep crime down.

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