Overall level of crime falls to record low but fears raised 400,000 offences have not been logged by policeThere were 8.9m crimes in 12 months to September – the lowest ever according to British Crime SurveyAll crime is down sharply apart from street theft and pickpocketing, as more people carry valuable items like smartphones, iPods, iPads and laptops
But police recorded crime figures show an even bigger drop, which experts say show that have 'overstated' improvementTargets 'may have swayed officers into downgrading marginal incidents', ONS says
compared with the previous year.
There were some increases in sub-categories, with theft from the person – or pickpocketing – rising 6 per cent, which anecdotal evidence suggested was down to the rise in popularity of hand-held gadgets such as iPhones, mp3 players and tablets.
Driving the overall fall in crime was a drop in vandalism, burglary and vehicle thefts, the ONS said.
Staffordshire Police deputy chief constable Douglas Paxton, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) lead on statistics, said the separate study also noted that the quality of crime recording by the police remains “amongst the best in the world”.
He said: 'Ensuring our data is as robust as it can be has a direct impact on public trust and confidence and we will continue to ensure forces continue to meet the national standard when it comes to recording crimes.
'The service remains determined to build on the good work reflected in these publications and the results are a credit to those officers and staff who have faced the challenge of major efficiencies while continuing to tackle crime in our communities.'
Crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said: 'Police reform is working. We have swept away central targets, reduced bureaucracy and these figures show forces are rising to the challenge of doing more with less. Many have achieved significant reductions in crime with reduced budgets.
'We are improving the relationship between the police and the public through the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, giving the public a direct say in local policing for the first time, and we have established the College of Policing to enhance police professionalism and set the highest standards of integrity.'