Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leader Book; Good and Bad News on Crime

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leader Book; Good and Bad News on Crime

Article excerpt

THE British Crime Survey statistics, published today, will be welcome news for the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, showing a drop of five per cent in overall crime nationwide and continuing falls in burglary and vehicle crime. This suggests that Mr Blunkett is on target for his goal of reducing crime figures by 15 per cent by 2008. Fear of crime is down, too - perhaps at last a payoff for the Government's marked increase in police numbers and in community support officers. But at the same time, the survey shows an astonishing and very worrying increase in London's violent crime - up 37 per cent in one year. This is far ahead of even the 12 per cent increase in violent crime reported to the police - and at greater variance still with the three per cent drop recorded for the same period nationally by the British Crime Survey.

These variations suggest the difficulty of divining the truth through such figures. The survey is the equivalent of a giant opinion poll, in which some 35,000 people are asked about their experience of a crime in the past year - a large sample, but evidently very different from reported crimes. …

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