Police 'overstate' fall in crime

An ONS review of the Crime Survey for England and Wales and crimes recorded by the police showed that while both report a fall in offences, police records appear to "overstate the true rate in which crime has been falling".

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Why the discrepancy in crime rates?

Analysis from the Office for National Statistics suggests there is a discrepancy between police records of crimes and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW works by "asking people whether they have experienced any crime in the past year," whereas police records are based on officers recording offences in their patch.

The differences between these methods may give rise to discrepancies, although the exact reason why police records appear to overstate crime reduction is a matter of controversy.

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Police may record fewer crimes due to target pressures

Another possibility for the discrepancy was that more low-level crimes were being dealt with informally and outside the formal crime recording system.

Mr Flatley also suggested it was also "possible" that reductions in police budgets and officers meant fewer offences were being recorded.

Reporting discrepancy may be due to retail crime

There are warning signs for the police and Home Office, with the increase in theft. And earlier this week the British Retail Consortium's Survey showed an increase of over 15% in the cost of retail crime alongside a drop in the proportion of crime reported by retailers to the police from 48% to 16%.

This is perhaps why the Office for National Statistics has begun to express concern that apparent reductions in police recorded crime may be exaggerated.

– david hanson, shadow policing minister

Homicide rate down 10% in year to September 2012

Crimes recorded in virtually all categories have fallen in the year ending September 2012 compared with the previous year with significant reductions in vandalism, burglary and vehicle thefts.

Pickpocketing was one of the few sub-categories that saw an increase, which may be due to the popularity of hand-held devices like iPhones, mp3 players and tablets.

  • Violence against the person - down 5%
  • Homicide - down 10%
  • Attempted murder - down 2%
  • Burglary - down 8%
  • Anti-social behaviour incidents - down 2.4%
  • Pickpocketing - up 6%

(Office for National Statistics)

Minister: Crime figures show police reform is working

The crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne has welcomed the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, saying:

Police reform is working. We have swept away central targets, reduced bureaucracy and these figures show forces are rising to the challenge of doing more with less. Many have achieved significant reductions in crime with reduced budgets.

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Police records 'overstate' drop in crime rate

Police records "overstate the true rate in which crime has been falling" according to the latest analysis from the Office for National Statistics.

There is a difference between the number of crimes recorded by police and those reported by residents in England and Wales Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

The number of crimes recorded by police and those reported by residents in England and Wales both show the number of crimes is falling, but at different rates.

Police records suggest that crime rates dropped by 41% since 2002/03, compared to a 26% fall in the records of the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

In the last five years, the number of police-recorded crimes fell by 960,000, while the crime survey showed a fall of just 560,000.

Crime figures for 2012 down by 8% from previous year

Overall crime in England and Wales has fallen by 8% to 8.9 million in the year to September 2012 compared with the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Crimes in all categories were lower for the year, with notable decreases in vandalism, burglary and vehicle-related theft.

This was the lowest level since the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) began in 1981.

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