Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 15:58 UK

Figures show business crime rise

Crime scene
The figures show 18,621 fewer victims of crime in London this year

Business crime - possibly fuelled by the recession - has risen by nearly 11% in London while crime overall has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years.

Police figures show there were 11,653 business-related crimes from April 2008 to March 2009, up 10.9%.

In contrast, there were 862,866 overall victims of crime from April 2007 to March 2008, compared to 844,245 victims this financial year - a fall of 2.2%

The decrease shows falls in assault, gun and knife crime.

'Opportunistic crimes'

Commenting on the rise in business crime, Cdr Paul Minton said: "The largest volume increase in the category of business crime has been shoplifting.

"In addition, industry retail contacts have told us anecdotally there has been an increase in shop thefts that may be associated with the recession.

"They say the number of opportunistic thefts are increasing, as well as employee theft, and major retailers tell us they are increasingly having to security tag everyday products."

Gun crime has fallen by nearly 26%, standing at 753 offences, while knife crime is down by more than 13%, with 1,882 offences.

"Overall, the reduction in assault, gun and knife crime, robbery and burglary is a really positive achievement for the MPS this year," said Cdr Minton.

Crime is still cause for considerable concern for too many Londoners
Mayor Boris Johnson

Rape has increased by 276 offences - up 14.5% - compared to last year, but the Met said it was important to note that it was at its second lowest level in the last 10 years.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said he would unveil a new strategy to confront violence against women next week.

He said: "We are making some headway in a number of areas, especially gun and violent crime, and it is particularly heartening to see a reduction in youth violence.

"But crime is still cause for considerable concern for too many Londoners and I will never be complacent on this issue."

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