26/01/2006

Report reveals increase in violent crime

The Home Office has today released a report revealing that violent crime particularly gun crime and robbery are all on the increase in the UK.

The report states that violent crime is on the increase, despite a fall in the total amount of criminal behaviour recorded.

According to the statistics, violent crime rose by 4%, between July and September last year, in comparison to the same period in 2004.

The total number of robberies reported to police, increased by 11%, although there was a decrease in overall crime by 1% in the same period.

The report added that since the introduction of desirable top of the range gadgets, such as mobile phones, iPods and PlayStation portables, the number of teenagers mugging each other for these item, has greatly contributed to the rise in violent crime.

In 2005 gun-related crimes was up by 1%.

The Home Office Crime figures can greatly differ from the British Crime Survey (BCS), which polls people's experience of crime.

The BCS' report indicated a drop in overall crime by 2% and also a decrease in violent crime by 5%.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said that he had been concerned for some time that Home Office crime statistics have been questioned and challenged, and it can be confusing to some people as to what is happening in the country in regards to crime statistics.

Norman Brennan, the Director of the Victims of Crime Trust, called for the recruitment of at least 50,000 extra police officers to help "reclaim the streets" from what he described as "criminal untouchables".

In 2002, the government set up a Street Crime Initiative, which targeted the 10 areas worst hit by crime.

This saw a reduction in offences by almost a third, but since the £81 million project ended in April 2005, the figures in street crime have escalated.

(EF/SP)

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