Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Thursday, 18 October 2007 11:42 UK

Drug offences up as crime falls

Cannabis smoker
Police recorded 55,000 drug offences between April and June

Drug offences in England and Wales increased 14% in the second quarter of this year, Home Office figures show.

The figures, from the police, showed overall crime fell by 7% to just under 1.3 million offences, while the British Crime Survey said it remained static.

There were 55,000 drug crimes recorded from April to June, up from 48,300 during the same period in 2006.

Analysts say the rise coincided with the increase in police use of powers to issue warnings for cannabis possession.

Violent crime down

The Home Office, using recorded crime figures from the police, said there were nearly 21,000 fewer violent crimes in April to June this year, compared with the same quarter in 2006.

Graphic

The Home Office said recorded violent offences were down 8% overall (from 277,000 to 256,300) with domestic burglary down 3% (69,400 to 67,100 offences) and robbery down 9% (25,400 to 23,100).

Its figures also show a 14% drop in the most serious violent offences (5,200 to 4,400) and falls in car theft and sex offences.

In the 12 months to the end of June, firearms offences were down by 6% (10,350 to 9,700), but the number of deaths resulting from gun crime rose slightly, from 53 to 56.

But the separate British Crime Survey, which is based on interviews with the public, showed a 1% rise in violent crime, including a 2% rise in offences causing injury, in the year to June 2007.

However, the Home Office said these increases were not statistically significant.

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said: "I am encouraged that the BCS shows stability after historic falls and the police figures show that total recorded crime is down by 7%.

"Reductions in violence against the person, domestic burglary and criminal damage all point to significant progress.

"In fact, the chances of being a victim of crime are around their lowest level since the survey began in 1981."

Fear of crime

He added: "The government is also committed to tackling the fear of crime and these latest statistics remind us that burglary, car crime, violent crime and anti-social behaviour remain concerns for the public."

The Home Office said the BCS was a more reliable measure for the types of crime it covers as it does not vary according to changes in levels of reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity.

The BCS in the year to June 2007 showed overall levels of anti-social behaviour and worry of crime to be stable compared with the previous year.

Other statistics from the British Crime Survey show:

  • Levels of all BCS crime stable at 11 million crimes
  • Violent crime stable
  • Domestic burglary stable
  • Vehicle-related thefts stable
  • Theft from the person stable
  • Vandalism stable
  • Personal acquisitive crime decreased by 10%
  • Household acquisitive crime stable
  • Risk of crime stable at 24%


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