Crime in England and Wales has remained stable during the past year, according to Home Office figures. Police recorded the first fall in overall violence in eight years, but drug offences and robbery went up. The figures also indicate 24-hour drinking laws have not changed rates of alcohol-fuelled crime, but have merely shifted incidents to the early hours.
The Home Office said it needed to boost public confidence in statistics because 65% believed crime was rising. On publishing the annual figures the Home Office said it needed to rethink how it describes some crimes after an independent report last year warned the public do not understand the statistics, leading to a loss in confidence.
Ministers say they want a debate on what makes a violent crime because some of the offences currently classed as violent do not involve injuries.
They also said crime rates varied so much from area to area that police forces would soon start publishing local monthly crime figures to give the public a better idea of what was happening, they added.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “One of the biggest challenges we face is that public perceptions of crime levels remain high. Every community faces its own unique challenges when it comes to crime.”
The home secretary said information on local crime would become more accessible.
Announcing a new crime strategy, Ms Smith said from next July everyone would have access to a street-by-street “story of crime” in their area from local police data posted on the internet.
So exactly what does this all mean??
One thing is for sure, contrary to the Governments claim to want to reduce the variety of paperwork we do only one thing is certain. This is going to increase the need for statistical information.
So who, exactly, will be submitting all this extra paperwork ??
Need you ask. It will end up sinking down towards the bottom dwellers.
Meanwhile, police chiefs have been criticised by a committee of MPs who concluded giving police forces extra cash had not helped reduce crime. The Home Affairs select committee found the drop in levels of crime had taken place before the injection of funds began. In real terms, police budgets went up in England and Wales by 40% from £8.5bn in 1996/7 to £12bn in 2006/7 and the number of officers rose by 11%, according to a report by the committee.
But its acting chairman, David Winnick, said: “We know the police have had a major increase in funding over the past decade but it is much more difficult to tell what they have done with it.”
Read into that what you may.
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