Commenting on the release of the statistics, Deputy Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, ACPO lead for Crime and Statistics, said:

"The police service is committed to driving down crime in the local communities. The statistics released today reflect the efforts of our workforce in doing all they can to protect communities from harm.

"Crimes recorded by the police decreased by 8% compared to the previous year with violent and sexual crimes falling. The figures show a 4% decrease in homicides with the number of selected offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument down by 16%. The figures also show a 3% reduction in recorded sexual offences but we would continue to encourage all victims to come forward and report crimes to the police.

"Additionally, the latest year shows a further fall in robbery offences, representing the lowest levels since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03.

"Disappointingly, police recorded data shows that theft from the person has increased by 8% in the last year. The major driver for the increase is the rising number of mobile phone thefts. We would urge the public to stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you. Take particular care of mobile phones and personal items when in public places where thieves may seek to take advantage.

"The UK Peace Index report published yesterday also highlighted the significant fall in violent crime and homicides, with the UK becoming a more peaceful society since 2003. The percentage of people who believe that crime is increasing at the local level has almost halved in the last decade.

"But we cannot be complacent and while overall these results are positive the police service will need to adapt and innovate to continue bringing down crime as their budgets decrease."

ENDS

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