The latest set of crime statistics was published today by the Home Office, and the Office of National Statistics published the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The figures relate to the year ending March 2017.
Policing and fire Minister Nick Hurd said:
Our police officers and staff do a fantastic job every day to keep us safe, and they have played a key role in today’s news that crimes traditionally measured by the Independent Crime Survey for England and Wales are down by well over a third since 2010 and down by 69% since its 1995 peak.
The Office for National Statistics is clear that much of the rise in violent offences recorded by police is down to better recording by forces but also believes some of the increases may be genuine and clearly there is more we must do to tackle the violent crimes which blight communities.
We recognise that crime is changing and we are determined to get ahead of new and emerging threats to the safety and security of our families and communities. Our latest action, announced in the past week, includes urgent work to bear down on acid attacks and proposals to strengthen the law to get knives off our streets. Our Domestic Abuse Bill will help to bring this heinous crime out of the shadows and ensure victims receive both support and justice, backed by £100m funding to help prevent and address violence against women and girls. We are also investing £1.9 billion to help counter the cyber threats we face.
We will continue our work to ensure that police have the resources, the training and the powers they need to protect all victims from harm and bring offenders to justice.
10 things we are doing to keep families and communities safe
- Earlier this week, we announced plans to consult on new laws to tackle knife crime – including placing restrictions on online sales so that knives bought online have to be collected in person, and banning the possession of dangerous and offensive weapons in people’s homes. We are encouraging police forces to undertake co-ordinated national weeks of action to tackle knife crime through Operation Sceptre – this week a record 32 forces from across the country are taking part, making arrests and getting dangerous weapons off the streets. In London alone, officers around the Met recovered 318 knives, 12 firearms and 73 offensive weapons. They made a total of 518 arrests, including 166 for possession of a knife or an offensive weapon.
- The Government has announced an action plan to tackle the use of acid and other corrosives in violent attacks – to check whether police and prosecutors are making full use of the powers available to them and consider what further action is needed. Police will receive new guidance on preventing acid attacks, searching potential perpetrators for harmful substances and responding to victims at the scene. And we are working with retailers to agree measures to restrict sales of acids and other corrosive substances.
- Overall police funding has been protected in real terms since the Spending Review in 2015 and we are engaging with the police to make sure they have the resources that they need.
- We have strengthened firearms controls through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 by closing loopholes in the law which have previously been exploited by criminals. This included creating two new offences.
- We are ensuring that we have the right intelligence, detection and enforcement capabilities and policies, internationally, at the UK border, and within the UK. For example on 1st July, a joint operation by Border Force, the NCA and the Met at our juxtaposed controls resulted in the seizure of 79 firearms that were being smuggled through the Channel Tunnel.
- We are bringing forward a landmark Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill which will protect victims and make sure agencies respond effectively. We have pledged £100 million in dedicated funding until 2020 to tackle violence against women and girls.
- The 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act bans the sale (including online), supply, production and distribution of psychoactive substances such as spice; it gives police and local authorities greater powers to tackle this illegal trade. Over 330 headshops have been shut as a result. The Government’s new drug strategy reaffirms our robust law enforcement response to drug-related crime.
- We have established the Joint Fraud Taskforce, which is improving the law enforcement response to fraud; rolling out a nation-wide prevention campaign; and improving the response to victims.
- The Government is investing £1.9 billion to support the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021, to ensure that our law enforcement agencies have the capacity to deal with the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber crime.
- We are overhauling how police, social services and others work together to protect vulnerable children. This includes providing around £8m extra investment to transform the police approach to child sexual exploitation through the Police Transformation Fund.