1. ITV Report

Crime numbers jump most dramatically in a decade, new figures show

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

Levels of crime saw their most dramatic rise in a decade last year, driven by an increase in violence, new figures show.

Numbers of crime reported in England and Wales jumped 10% over the 12-month period to March, compared with the same time-frame in 2015/16.

Nearly five million crimes were recorded by police forces, according to the Officer for National Statistics (ONS), with violent offences in particular soaring 18%.

If fraud and computer misuse offences were taken into account, using a separate Crime Survey of England and Wales measure, the total crime figure reached 11 million.

The spike was slammed by Labour and the charity Victim Support, with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott labelling the figures a "damning indictment" of the Conservative record.

Recorded crimes jumped 10% last year. Credit: PA

According to the figures, released on Thursday, rising levels of violence and theft were two of the main drivers behind the marked annual increase.

While the rise was partly attributed to the improvement in recording crime, a genuine increase in several offence types was noted.

A total increase of 458,021 offences crime-wide, equating to 10%, was logged last year compared to 2015/16.

Of that, 175,060 were cases of violence against a person - an 18% rise.

Crimes involving knives also increased last year. Credit: PA

Incidents of theft and public order offences also increased 7% and 39% respectively.

Meanwhile, both knife and gun crime rose by a fifth on the previous year, with more than 5,800 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded.

The use of handguns in offences jumped by 24%.

Modern slavery was up 1,385 and stalking 1,135.

More offences recorded over 12 months to March - equivalent to 10%
Annual rise in violence against a person
Victim Support said the figures were a 'great cause for concern'. Credit: PA

The 11 million total still remains some 42% (8.1 million) below peak levels of crime in 1995, but the latest figure is similar to levels seen a decade ago.

All forces, excluding Cumbria and North Yorkshire, recorded an annual rise.

John Flatley, head of crime statistics for the ONS, said: "The latest figures show the largest annual rise in crimes recorded by the police in a decade.

"While ongoing improvements to recording practices are driving this volume rise, we believe actual increases in crime are also a factor in a number of categories."

Increase in knife and gun crime over the past year
Rise in number of stalking cases
Labour's Diane Abbott slammed the figures as 'damning'. Credit: PA

Ms Abbott criticised the latest figures, saying they were a "damning indictment" of the Conservatives' record in government.

"The Tories have cut police officer numbers again in the latest 12 months and now there are well over 20,000 fewer than in 2010," she said.

"And despite promising to protect budgets, they continue to cut funding even as a senior figures in policing line up to warn they are overstretched and struggle to cope with demand.

She added: "The Tories simply aren't allowing the police to protect the public."

Rachel Almeida, Victim Support's head of policy, also described the figures as a "great cause for concern", citing the rise in violent crime.

"These types of crime in particular can cause deep emotional, physical and psychological effects on victims," she said.

"We must ensure that victims have the support and help they deserve to enable them to move beyond their ordeal and begin to rebuild their lives."