ACPO lead on crime statistics Deputy Chief Constable Douglas Paxton said:
"The bulletin published today analysing variations in crime trends pulls together background on crime recording standards and the results from a previously published review of recording practices conducted by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. It also re-iterates that against this background the quality of crime recording by the police remains amongst the best in the world.
"The report provides a series of possible hypothesis for variations in crime recording. These include potential over-zealous recording practices in the early years of the national standard in crime recording being introduced as well as the move to neighbourhood policing teams resulting in more low-level crimes being dealt with informally and outside the formal crime recording system. These are possible contributory factors to the decrease in recorded crimes.
"The service works hard to ensure that our data is as robust as it can be. We have to remain vigilant on this issue as anything less impacts on public confidence in police. What is encouraging is that the analysis comes as results from the Independent Crime Survey in England and Wales today shows that public confidence in the police doing a good or excellent job remains steady, at 62 per cent."