Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

London crime falling, police say

Crime scene
The Met says there were 6,900 fewer robberies in 2008 than in 2007

The Metropolitan Police says new statistics show London's crime rate - including knife offences - has fallen to its lowest level in a decade.

New figures show a 26% decline in gun crime, 12% drop in knife crime and a 17% reduction in robbery in 2008 compared with 2007 figures.

The figures, issued by the Met, show that despite those drops, domestic violence continues to rise.

The number of rapes reported in the city in 2008 also increased.

Met Acting Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin said: "These figures show that London is getting safer and that our strategies and those of our partners in tackling knife and gun crime are beginning to take effect."

'Rebuild confidence'

But he said efforts to tackle the city's knife and gun culture - especially among young people - will continue aggressively.

"No young person should live in fear while going about their daily life."

Mayor Boris Johnson, who chairs the governing Metropolitan Police Authority, congratulated the police service but said more needs to be done.

"Now is the time to work even harder in the battle to take back the streets, keep our kids safe, combat business crime and rebuild Londoners' confidence and pride in the Metropolitan Police Service," the mayor said.

A large tranche of Mr Johnson's 2008 mayoral election manifesto was a commitment to tackle petty youth crime and intimidation.

The Met's summary of 2008 crime figures came just ahead of the detailed England-wide crime statistics to be released by the Home Office on Thursday.

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