- 10 updates
There has been a big fall in crime across England and Wales, despite there being 4,500 fewer police officers. Crime fell by nine percent in the last year. It is now at its lowest level since 1981. But some are warning that the cuts could make such progress hard to sustain.
UK Editor Lucy Manning reports:
The number of rapes recorded by the police has risen since last year, according to the latest crime figures released by the ONS.
With the exception of "thefts from the person", all other types of victim-based crime decreased over the same period, so why have sexual offences increased?
- There has been a 1% rise in sexual offences since last year - an additional 780 offences
- Of those alleged offences, 289 were rapes - an increase of 2% since last year
- The ONS said the rise was thought to be partly a "Yewtree effect"
- It said more victims of sexual offences had come forward to report historical offences
- Police set up Operation Yewtree to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and others
- 450 allegations of sexual abuse have been reported against Savile alone, 31 of which are alleged rapes
- In total, some 589 people have come forward in the investigation
- Thirteen people have been arrested
- The ONS said there was "a pronounced increase in crimes that occurred 20 years ago or more"
- It said that without those historical crimes, there would have been a year-on-year fall in sexual offences.
David Cameron said police had become more "efficient and effective" despite cutbacks and hailed the use of new technologies as crime in England and Wales fell to its lowest level since records began.
ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning spoke to the Prime Minister:
Home Secretary Theresa May said new crime and policing figures published today were "a significant achievement" by the Government and police:
The Prime Minister said he was "proud" of police he met in west London after new figures put crime in England and Wales at its lowest level since 1981:
A one percent rise in sexual offences can be explained by "victims reporting more historical crimes", the Office of National Statistics has said:
The number of police officers in England and Wales has dropped for the fourth consecutive year - by 3.4 percent or 4,516 - taking the total to its lowest level since 2002, the Home Office said.
The number of thefts "from the person" has risen by nine percent, according to crime figures released today by the ONS.
The number of rapes recorded by police has risen by 2% in the past year, with the increase thought to be linked to the knock-on effect of the Jimmy Savile investigation, the ONS said.
The estimated number of crimes has fallen nine percent since last year, taking the figure to its lowest level since the Crime Survey for England and Wales began in 1981, the Office for National Statistics said.