It’s official: Crime fell 43% during Labour’s time in power

Official statistics out today show that crime fell by 43 per cent between 1997 and 2010; the British Crime Survey also shows that crime is down 9% from 10.5m to 9.6m offences in the past year.

Official statistics out today show that crime fell by 43 per cent between 1997 and 2010. The British Crime Survey reveals that crime is down 9 per cent from 10.5 million to 9.6 million offences in the past year – the lowest figure since 1981 and the first time the number has dropped below the 10 million mark since records began – while police recorded crime fell 8 per cent, down from 4.7 million to 4.3 million crimes.

There has been no significant change in violent crime in the past year, though longer-term, as with overall crime, it is down 50 per cent since its peak in 1995. Homicides are down 6 per cent in the last year to 615, and down significantly from the figure of 753 in 2007/8, though sexual offences are up 6 per cent since 2008/09, to 54,509.

Gun and knife crime, which together account for just 1 per cent of overall crime, are both down. The number of firearms offences is down 3 per cent to 7,995 (0.2% of all offences), with knife crime down 7 per cent to 33,566 (0.8% of all offences).

The BCS also shows that young men face a higher risk of being a victim of stranger violence (2.2% of men compared with 0.6% of women), and that women are at greater risk of domestic abuse (7% of women aged 16 to 59 were victims in the past year compared with 4% of men); with regard to area, the BCS shows the risk of being a victim of any household crime was higher for households living in urban than rural areas (18% compared with 12%).

According to the BCS, the proportions of the 9.6 million offences committed in 2009/10 by category are: burglary (7%); vehicle-related theft (13%); all other theft (33%); vandalism (25%); and violence, including robbery but excluding sexual offences (22%).

While the police recorded crime stats for the 4.3 million offences recorded in 2009/10 are: burglary (12%); offences against vehicles (11%); other thefts (24%); fraud and forgery (4%); criminal damage (19%); violence against the person (20%); sexual offences (1%); robbery (2%); drug offences (5%); and all other offences (2%).

Shadow home secretary Alan Johnson said the statistics showed that Labour’s law and order policies had worked. He said:

“These figures again demonstrate how impressively the police and other agencies tackled crime under the Labour Government…

“But rather than congratulating everyone who has worked so hard to make our country safer, we now have the bizarre spectacle of Tory ministers trashing the official figures which show undeniably that crime has fallen.”

Police minister Nick Herbert said:

“It is welcome when crime falls but let’s get this into perspective, Britain is a high crime country.”

And home secretary Theresa May said:

“No society should accept a situation where at least 26,000 people a day fall victim to crime – that is why we will reform the police to make them more accountable to their communities and cut bureaucracy to get officers on to the beat and fighting crime.

“This is why we want the public to know what is really going on in their area and will publish monthly crime information about what is happening on their streets by January next year.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.