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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Robberies up 6% but crime stable
There were nearly 1.4 million recorded crimes in late 2005
The number of robberies committed between October and December last year was up 6% on the same period a year earlier, the Home Office has said.

Quarterly crime statistics for England and Wales also showed that drug offences rose 21% and violent crime 1%. Sex crimes were up 3%.

However, the report said total reported crime showed no overall change when comparing the two periods.

There were 1,377,100 recorded offences during the last three months of 2005.

This was stable, as in the previous quarter recorded offences had fallen 1% to 1.37m incidents.

There is still too much violent crime
Charles Clarke
Home Secretary

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said: "This rise in recorded offences of robbery needs to be put in context as the figures are still well below those for 2001/02, before the street crime initiative, when robbery was at its height."

For the October-December quarter, there were 298,600 violent crimes.

Violence against the person rose by 1% although the most serious category in this class - including homicide and serious wounding - dropped 12%.

Drug targeting

Mr Clarke said he was "encouraged by the fact that violent crime is stabilising, but there is still too much violent crime".

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said the increase in drug offences was attributable to "proactive policing".

"In one couple of month period, we actually arrested 1,500 people in a series of operational raids, so clearly if you're doing more proactive policing - closing crack-houses, arresting people for drugs, your figures are going to go up."

Domestic burglary fell by 4% and fraud and forgery by 22%.

Gun offences, from a further set of figures, fell by 3% to 10,878 in 2005, but the number of serious injuries caused by firearms jumped by 21% to 473 injuries.

Gun killings showed a significant decline of 30% from 73 to 51.

Victim risk

Separate figures from the British Crime Survey showed there was a 23% chance of being a victim of crime - a stable level and the lowest since the survey began in 1981.

The British Crime Survey covered the 12 months to December 2005 and involved a sample of 45,000 people.

The number of people who said they were "very worried" about violent crime rose from 16% in 2004 to 17% in 2005. The proportion of interviewees very worried about burglary also rose 1% to 13%.

The survey also said that overall crime was stable, as was personal crime, violent crime and household crime. Domestic burglary dropped 11% in the year and vehicle thefts were down 9%, according to the survey.

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