Crime rate continues to tumble throughout England and Wales

Official statistics show crime has fallen year on year since 2009

The UK Crime rate has fallen by 17% over the past four years official statistics show, with Police forces in England and Wales appearing to have gone some way to justifying the Government’s decision to protect the police budget from austerity measures in 2009.

Last year saw over 600,000 fewer crimes reported nationwide compared to 2009/10 with significant progress being made in numerous areas.

Most notably – possession of weapon crimes and public order offences have been reduced by 30%. Meanwhile violent crimes have fallen by 14% Drug offences have dropped by 11% and theft has also been reduced by 10%.

Surprisingly – the unemployment crisis, which reached its peak between 2010 and 2012, appears to have had little effect on the national crime rate though both shoplifting and homicides reached their highest points during this span over the 2009 – 2013 period.

However there remain areas of concerns – with sexual offences on the increase. The number of reports of rape incidents across the nation has increased by 8% since 2009 and in 2013 only 22% of reported rape attacks resulted in police charges.

Thought this figure is above the average police charge rate of 14% – it is significantly lower than charge rates for arguably less serious offences such as shoplifting (34%).

Former police sergeant and community worker, Christine Mellor says this statistic reflects a “lapsidasical” attitude toward rape by Police forces throughout the country and has called on chiefs to ensure rape and other sexual offences are dealt with in an “appropriate manner.”

“There is definitely a stigma in some police forces when it comes to rape cases in particular with as much as a third of rape cases not being carried through to their proper conclusion,” says Ms Mellor.

“For shoplifters to be more likely to be charged than someone accused of rape is quite shocking (to me) – taking a dress or some crisps from a shop is one thing but robbing someone’s of their dignity and right to say no (to sexual encounters) is a far more serious offence.”

The rate of shoplifting too has remained almost the same, falling by just 2% since 2009. Meanwhile, though violent offences against an individual have dropped, victims are 7% more likely to be injured in these attacks.

Theft based crimes are the most frequently committed – with burglaries, shoplifting and similar offences accounting for just over 50% of all reported offences between 2009 and 2013.Criminal damage and Arson offences and Violent crimes against an individual are the next most commonly committed offences – both accounting for roughly 17% of crimes committed in the same four year span.

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