The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) have been released by the Office for National Statistics.
They show there has been a six per cent fall in overall levels of crime recorded in the 12 month period, although there are variations across different categories of crime.
The statistics (October 2019-September 2020) include the first six months of Covid restrictions and show a nine per cent fall in most victim-based crime including sexual offences, robbery, assaults causing injury, theft and criminal damage. However, there was a 10 per cent increase in domestic abuse related offences.
Commenting on the figures, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Crime Operations, Chief Constable Andy Cooke said:
“These statistics show the overall level of crime has broadly decreased.
“We have seen sustained falls in crime recorded through periods of national lockdowns as the public have largely stayed at home helping to stop the spread of the Covid virus.
“Police have continued to focus our attention on protecting victims of domestic abuse from harm and catching perpetrators, working closely with all our partners to make sure victims get the support they need and that has not changed due to the Covid restrictions.
“Many forces have stepped up their response to domestic abuse and have been innovative in light of new national and regional lockdowns. We’re grateful for all the partnership working across the entire sector, and we will continue to take stock and learn from each other as we seek to improve the police response and referral process.
“For some domestic abuse victims, home will not be a safe place. Don’t worry about the restrictions on movement – seek help if you’re in danger.
“Tackling the supply of drugs and linked violence and organised crime is a police priority and our tactics are working. Forces have effectively used spare capacity during the lockdowns to proactively pursue criminals supplying drugs and causing harm and violence across communities, which has led to a 16 per cent increase drug possession arrests.
“With 6,620 new police recruits in forces, as part of the uplift of 20,000 new officers, we are able to continue to target persistent criminals who inflict misery on the public.”