FIXED..OR FIX?; We Will Bring Street Crime under Control by the End of September - Tony Blair April 24: Muggings and Robberies Are Down by 14% but Labour Is Accused of Fiddling the Figures

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Byline: JAMES HARDY, Political Editor

DAVID Blunkett yesterday declared victory in the battle to bring down street crime.

The Home Secretary announced the number of robberies had fallen by 14 per cent within six months - a drop of 2,000 offences a day.

But critics accused the Government of fiddling the figures to hit Tony Blair's pledge in April to bring street crime "under control" by the end of this month.

The Home Office figures, which covered only the months of April and August, were branded bogus by opposition parties.

Lib Dem spokesman Simon Hughes said: "The public will realise the Government is pulling the wool over their eyes." And Tory home affairs spokesman Oliver Letwin said: "No amount of playing with the figures will persuade people that street crime is anything like under control."

But a Labour spokesman said: "Oliver Letwin's statement shows the Tories' embarrassment because his attempts to scorn the street crime initiative has been disproved by the facts - street crime has fallen."

The fall follows a massive police crackdown in 10 "hotspot" areas across Britain in a pounds 67million project. …