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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Robbery continues on upward trend
Police tape
The figures show overall recorded crime fell in the period
Robbery and muggings in England and Wales rose 5% between April and June, official statistics show.

The increase - police recorded 25,300 robberies in the quarter, up from 24,200 last year - comes on the back of an 8% rise in the 12 months to April.

But the Home Office said the overall number of reported offences was down 2% in the three-month period with firearms offences 8% lower in the year to June.

It said the separate British Crime Survey found crime levels were static.

Falls in the number of assaults in the April to June period saw the number of recorded offences of violence, which include robbery, remain the same.

Estimated 11 million crimes committed during last 12 months
BCS suggests risk of being a victim of crime is 24%
10,627 firearms offences committed in the last year

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The rise in robbery has been blamed on an increase in thefts from young people carrying electronic gadgets such as MP3 players and mobile phones.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty said: "We have made significant progress on violent crime in recent years and I am encouraged that overall violent crime is stable and police recorded crime has fallen.

"Although recorded robbery has increased, the rate is much slower than in recent quarters and is the result of work we are doing with the police, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and the mobile phone industry as well as our advertising campaign warning people to keep their valuables safe.

"But I am not complacent and recognise that more work needs to be done to reverse this trend."

Mr McNulty said the government was targeting the link between drug addiction and offending by placing a record numbers of people in treatment.

However, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said it was "inexplicable" that the government should be allowing residential drug rehabilitation centres to close when drug-related crime was so widespread.

Robbery figures began to rise in 2005 following the ending of a government scheme to target the problem of street crime in the 10 worst-hit areas.

More police on the street can make a difference
David Davis, shadow home secretary

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "The fact robbery has only recently started to rise since Tony Blair's street crime initiative proves what we have been saying for some time now - that more police on the street can make a difference."

He said officers remained "stuck behind their desks under an ever-increasing burden of Labour red tape".

The recorded crime figures showed drug offences rose by 16% to 48,000, but the Home Office said this was mainly down to the new policy of including official warnings for carrying cannabis.

Crimes involving firearms fell to 10,267 in the 12 months to June.

Anti-social behaviour

The British Crime Survey polls people's experience of crime.

Interviews in the year to June found there were rises in theft from the person and vandalism, but falls in burglary and thefts from vehicles.

Tony McNulty
A link between addiction and crime was being targeted, Mr McNulty said

The Home Office said an overall rise of 2% in all BCS crime - an estimated 11 million offences - was "not statistically significant".

The BCS suggested the risk of being a victim remained stable at 24%.

It also found anti-social behaviour continues to weigh on people's minds, with more than 25% saying drunk and rowdy behaviour, vandalism and teenagers hanging around on the streets remained a problem in their area.

Paul Cavadino, chief executive of crime reduction charity Nacro, said the statistics show that locking up record numbers of prisoners was not a solution to street robbery.

Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman, chief constable Ian Johnston, said there was some "encouraging news" but robbery remained an "anxiety".

Meanwhile, London's Metropolitan Police, which investigated almost half of the recorded robberies included in the previous set of data, said it had stemmed a rise in the crime.

Figures for the January to June period showed "personal robbery" fell 0.3% following "tough action", it said. There was also a fall in overall crime of 7%.

Figures show percentage change in recorded crime compared with same quarter a year earlier

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