Live updates

Crime falls 15% in England and Wales, figures show

Crime in England and Wales is down 15% on last year, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

There were 7.5 million crimes against households and adults - the lowest figures since thesurvey began in 1981.

0277c7af6bcb04a61d1ae37f481730b0_normal

7.5m crimes in England & Wales (down 15% on previous year) according to the #Crime Survey http://t.co/Hc0zdt8ZoI

Advertisement

Violent crime fall linked to rise in alcohol prices

A young man with a knife.
The number of people injured in serious violence dropped by 12% in 2013 compared to 2012. Credit: Alan Simpson/PA Archive

An increase in alcohol prices is partly responsible for a reduction in binge drinking and serious violence for the sixth consecutive year, a study has claimed.

The number of people injured in serious violence dropped by 12% in 2013 compared to 2012, with more than 32,000 fewer people treated for injuries relating to violence in England and Wales, a Cardiff University report found.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, lead author of the study and director of the violence and society research group at the university, said a change in alcohol habits since 2008 could be one reason for the continued reduction.

He said: "Binge drinking has become less frequent, and the proportion of youths who don't drink alcohol at all has risen sharply. Also, after decades in which alcohol has become more affordable, since 2008 it has become less affordable.

Hotel hammer attack suspect remanded in custody

A 32-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing at West London Magistrates' Court accused of the attack at a four-star hotel in London that left a woman with just 5% brain function.

The Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London Credit: PA

Philip Spence, 32, of Parkside Road, Hounslow, west London, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary.

Thomas Efremi, 56, of Upper Handa Walk, Islington, north London, appeared in court charged with handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation, while James Moss, 33, of Hanley Road, Finsbury Park, north London, appeared charged with receiving stolen goods.

Read: Hotel hammer attack victim left with 5% brain function and has lost left eye

Both men were also remanded in custody and will appear together with Spence at Southwark Crown Court on April 17.

Carly Baker, 31, of Hanley Road, Finsbury Park, is charged with handling stolen goods and is expected to appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.All four are British nationals, police have confirmed.

A 34-year-old man has been bailed to return pending further inquiries on a date in May.

Osborne: 'No more safe havens for those evading tax'

Chancellor George Osborne told ITV News the government is introducing a new criminal offence for anyone who fails to declare their offshore income.

"The message is very simple. If you are hiding your money offshore, we are coming to get you," the Chancellor said.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports:

At the moment officials must prove that a person holding income offshore intended to avoid paying tax - the proposed changes would mean they would only have to show the money was taxable.

Hammer attack victim 'only has 5% brain function'

One of the female victims of a hammer attack at a London hotel has been left with just 5% brain function and lost her left eye, police said.

The woman remains in a critical condition after she was attacked together with her two sisters in their room at the four-star Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch in London's West End in the early hours last Sunday.

More: Man in court over London hotel hammer attack

Advertisement

Overseas tax evaders jail threat

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne during a visit to Tilbury Docks in Essex. Credit: PA

People who avoid paying tax by stashing their money abroad could face a jail term under a new government clampdown.

Chancellor George Osborne is consulting on the creation of a new criminal offence to make it easier to prosecute British citizens who hold undisclosed money in offshore accounts.

The changes would give HM Revenue & Customs the power to prosecute people who do not declare their foreign income, even if they do not deliberately intend to avoid payment.

Man in court for hotel hammer attack

A man will appear in court today charged with the attempted murder of three women at a hotel.

The Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London Credit: PA

Three wealthy tourists were bludgeoned in a hammer attack after disturbing an intruder in their room at the four-star Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch in London's West End in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Two held in 'modern slavery' investigation

A man and a woman have been arrested in south London as part of an investigation into modern slavery.

Police said a 40-year-old British man and a 23-year-old Nigerian woman had been arrested at an address in Lewisham as part of "an ongoing inquiry into allegations involving modern slavery and trafficking".

A Home Office spokesman said the pair were also suspected of involvement in money-laundering and facilitating illegal immigration.

Four held over Cumberland Hotel hammer attack

A police car parked outside the entrance of The Cumberland Hotel in central London. Credit: PA

Four people have been arrested after three wealthy tourists were bludgeoned by a hammer-wielding attacker who sneaked into their hotel room in the middle of the night.

A lone man managed to get into the room on the seventh floor of the four-star Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch in London's West End in the early hours of Sunday morning.

When one of the women woke up, he attacked her with the hammer, and then turned on the two other victims, fleeing the hotel in bloodstained clothes.

One woman is in a critical condition and the other two remain in hospital although their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said three men, aged 56, 34 and 32, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at addresses in Islington, north London tonight. A 31-year-old woman was held on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

All four remain in custody at north London police stations.

More: Women attacked with hammer in London hotel

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories