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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Met Police hails fall in crime
Scotland Yard
The Met said the figures were "extraordinary"
The Metropolitan Police has said recorded crime fell in the last 12 months by 1.8%.

The force has hailed the results a "spectacular success" even though murder (7.9%), and violent crime against the person (4.1%), showed a rise.

Burglaries have fallen by 7.1%, car crime is down by 7.1%, street crime by 4.2% and rape offences down by 5.9%.

Murders within the African and Caribbean communities, investigated by Operation Trident, are down by 50%.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, commenting on the rise of murders and violent crime, said the statistics masked "extraordinary" results in other areas.

The number of violent crimes in London rose by 7,400 over the last year to 186,188 offences.

ABH: Up 2.3% to 38,219
Common assault: Up 1.6% to 88,093
Criminal damage: Up 2.1% to 147,435
Murder: Up 7.9% to 204

The number of murders rose from 189 to 204.

Sir Ian said that all crime in London was down 1.8% which meant there had been 20,000 fewer offences.

He added the increase in overall violent crime was fuelled by factors including increased reporting of low-level violent crime and changes in recording.

"What was a deteriorating situation only a few years ago of rising crime and too few officers has been turned around," he said.

He added he was worried by the move in the licensing trade towards larger pubs and bars.

Total crime: Down 1.8% to 1,060,930 offences
Burglary: Down 7.1% to 105,361 offences
Car crime: Down 7.1% to 225,610
Drugs offences: Down 3% to 32,332
GBH: Down 0.5% to 4,908
Gun crime: Down 7.4% to 3,576
Picking pockets: Down 14.6% to 27,238
Rape: Down 5.9% to 2,571
Robbery: Down 4.4% to 40,640
Sexual offences: Down 2.2% to 10,200
Street crime: Down 4.2% to 56,455
"Where we are concerned is the rise in alcohol- fuelled disorder, fights and disturbances in a public place," he added.

Sir Ian said the murder level was the highest in London in recent years and, although firearms offences were falling, there was an increase in knife-related crimes.

But he added: "We still have a murder rate which is one third of New York and Brooklyn has more murders than London as a whole."

He also argued that the figures should be seen against the background of defending London against terrorists.

The number of officers taken away from ordinary duty for anti-terrorist roles, football matches and state visits was one third higher last year.

Sir Ian said: "That's a very significant strain on our resources. All of this has to be seen against the background of enormous stretch in the organisation."


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