UK & World News

  • 23 January 2014, 10:29

Crime Figures Drop Amid 'Fiddling' Concerns

The number of crimes against households and adults has fallen by 10% to the lowest level on record, figures show.

There were around eight million crimes in the year to September 2013, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), which records victims' experience of crime whether reported to the police or not.

Of those 859,000 were against children aged between 10 and 15.

The figures show that, according to the survey, crime is now at its lowest level since figures started being collected 32 years ago.

Separately, police recorded 3.7 million crimes in the same period - a fall of 3%, according to the Office for National Statistics, which released the data.

The release of the figures comes amid significant concerns that police officers are routinely "fiddling" figures in order to make their performance look better.

Last week the UK Statistics Authority, the statistics watchdog, withdrew "gold-standard" status from the police-recorded crime figures, which began in the 19thcentury, because of the "accumulating evidence" that they were unreliable.

While the police-recorded figures showed a drop across most crimes, there were increases in theft from the person (7%) and shoplifting (4%).

Police also recorded a 17% increase in sexual offences, which statisticians at the ONS attributed to the effect of the Jimmy Savile case and claims against other celebrities, which has seen a number of people coming forward to report historic offences.

Police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which began in 1981, are the two most significant measures of crime in the country. The survey has shown a consistent fall in crime since 1995, when it hit its peak level of 11.1 million crimes.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales showed there was a 13% drop in violent crime, a 15% decrease in bicycle theft and a10% drop in overall household crime.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

More follows...