Figures 'show sharp increase in property crime'

Unpublished police data shows a sharp increase in property crime and a rise in shoplifting, with police forces reporting first-time arrests of people stealing basic food, The Times (£) has reported.

The data, from April to September, also suggests there is a North-South divide, with the North West facing "challenging" increases in property crime.

The unpublished police data shows a sharp increase in property crime, Credit: Alistair Wilson 50/50/PA Archive

The unconfirmed figures for the North West, which includes Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria, show theft has risen 7.8%, household burglary by 5.4% and shoplifting by 10.7% compared with the year-earlier period, according to the report.

The Home Office told the newspaper crime had fallen significantly across the country since the Coalition came to power.