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Recorded crime in England and Wales rose by less than half a per cent in the 12 months to June 1996, according to f...
Recorded crime in England and Wales rose by less than half a per cent in the 12 months to June 1996, according to figures published by the home office today.

'Notifiable Offences - England and Wales, July 1995 to June 1996' shows that 5.1 million offences were recorded by the police - an increase of 0.4 per cent on the previous 12 months.

This compares to the 12 months to June 1995 which saw a fall of five per cent and the 12 months to June 1994 in which recorded crime fell by 5.5 per cent.

Recorded crime is 10 per cent lower than it was three years ago.

Twenty four of the 43 police forces in England and Wales recorded fewer crimes in the 12 months to June 1996.

Property crimes, which account for 93 per cent of crimes, fell by 0.3 per cent to 4.7 million offences - the third consecutive 12-monthly decrease.

Within the category of property crimes:

-- burglary fell by 16,500 or one per cent. This includes a fall of three per cent in domestic burglary;

-- theft fell by 38,100 or two per cent - the third successive fall;

-- vehicle crimes decreased by one per cent or 10,100; and

-- thefts from and thefts of a motor vehicle decreased by one per cent or 8,200, and 0.4 per cent or 1,900, respectively.

There were increases in recorded thefts from the person, 3,400 offences or six per cent, and thefts from shops, 8,500 offences or three per cent.

The number of criminal damage offences rose by five per cent to 949,700.

A total of 331,300 violent offences were recorded in the 12 months to June 1996, an increase of 31,100 or 10 per cent. Violent crime makes up only six per cent of all recorded crime.

Within the category of violent crime:

-- offences of violence against the person rose to 228,500, an increase of 10 per cent. Within this

-- the number of homicides remained virtually unchanged at 730 offences; and

-- sexual offences increased by two per cent to 30,400, with an increase of 14 per cent in offences of rape.

-- robbery offences, most of which are muggings, increased by 15 per cent to 72,300 offences.

Durham had the biggest fall in recorded crime out of all the police forces with a drop of 14 per cent, followed by Cheshire and the City of London, both with a seven per cent drop and Gloucestershire with a fall of six per cent.

'The 1996 British Crimes Survey England and Wales' was also published today. The BCS is an estimate of crime taken from a large random sample of people aged 16 and over who were asked about offences they had experienced in the previous year. It includes crimes which have been reported to the police as well as crimes which have not.

Copies of the Notifiable Offences bulletin are available from Home Office, Information and Publications Group, Room 1308, Apollo House, 36 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 3RR. Telephone 0181 760 8340. The British Crime Survey is available from Information and Publication Group (IPG), Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate, Room 278, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT. Telephone 0171 273 2084 (answering machine).

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