Official figures have revealed a drop in crime during Labour's time in office, suggesting fears of a recession-driven crime wave have been unfounded.
The British Crime Survey showed offending is at its lowest level since 1981, with offences falling by nine per cent in 2009/10, from 10.5 million to 9.6 million, and rates of acquisitive crime that analysts would expect to soar during a recession - crimes such as burglary, theft and fraud - also falling.
The coalition government has reacted quietly to the figures, as they relate to a period before it came to power and seem to suggest Labour presided over a marked decrease in criminal offences.
Critics say the survey does not reflect the true reality of unreported crime and the negative effects of the fear of crime. It is also possible crime rates may rise over the coming years as the effects of the recession increase criminality while simultaneously limiting police powers.