Banged up: Crime is falling in England and Wales

Crime falls despite recession

Crime falls despite recession

Fears that the economic downturn would trigger a spate of acquisitive crime have proved unfounded, with official figures showing it continues to stay level.

The latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics, released today, showed overall crime remained level over the last three years, after falling steadily since 1995. Crimes recorded by the police fell by four per cent since last year.

Police recorded crime for robbery fell by two per cent compared with the previous year, although it did rise in London.

Violence against the person fell by an impressive seven per cent and there were marked decreases in homicide and grievous bodily harm.

There was a two per cent increase in other theft offences, driven principally by theft of unattended property, bicycle theft and shoplifting.

There was also an upward trend in household theft, which includes items stolen from outside the house, like garden furniture.

Ministers have long complained of the discrepancy between the public's perception of crime, which has risen steadily in recent years, and the fall in actual crime.

Opposition party rhetoric and tabloid news tend to increase the perception of crime, while government insistence of a reduction falls on deaf ears.

But when the financial crisis hit in 2008, experts predicted a strong rise in acquisitive crime which has not been reflected in the Crime Survey for England and Wales or reports to the police.