16 July 2009
Latest figures from the British Crime Survey (BCS) show that overall crime remains stable, with crime recorded by the police showing a 5% decrease compared with 2007-08.
BCS recorded violent crime remains stable, with police figures showing violence against the person has decreased by 6%.
The BCS figures also show:
- no change in domestic burglary
- vehicle theft and vandalism remain stable
- robberies remain stable
Police figures showed a 1% increase in domestic burglary and a 2% fall in non-domestic burglary. They also show a 10% fall in offences against vehicles and in criminal damage.
The figures show some signs of acquisitive crime increasing, with the BCS showing incidents of theft from the person rising by 25%, and bicycle theft up 22%. However, police recorded figures show a 12% in thefts from the person and no change in bicycle theft.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson described the statistics as ‘encouraging,’ pointing to overall crime falling by 36% since 1997 – a total of six million fewer crimes compared with 12 years ago.
He said, ‘Today’s figures show that the reductions in crime are being maintained and the risk of being a victim is still historically low.
‘Encouragingly, violent crime continues to fall with homicide figures now lower than they have been for a decade and attempted murder also falling. Overall, violent crime with injury is down 7% and there has been a 5% fall in recorded robberies, now at its lowest level since 2002.
'But we are not complacent. As in previous years we see changing patterns of crime and we know that during economic downturns certain crimes face upward pressure, which is why we’ve already taken action to tackle these head-on. Although today’s figures show signs of some acquisitive crimes increasing, the government is determined to keep these crimes down by continued investment in preventative measures, tough, targeted policing and historically high numbers of police officers.
'Of course statistics are only part of the picture and offer no comfort to victims which is why it is encouraging that confidence at a local level is rising with nearly half of people saying they feel the police and local agencies are dealing with antisocial behaviour and crime in their area.'
What is the difference between the BCS and police recorded crime?
Police records are one method of measuring crime rates. However, these statistics alone don’t paint an accurate picture because many crimes are not reported to police.
For the crime types it covers, the BCS provides a more reliable measure of trends in crime as it has a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity.
However, each source has different strengths and weaknesses, and together they provide a more comprehensive picture of crime than could be obtained from either series alone.
STOP AND SEARCH