London

London crime falls 6% in a year says Metropolitan Police

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Media captionThe force said burglaries are at the lowest level in London since 1974

Reported crime in London has fallen by 6.2% in the last financial year, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

It said 46,000 fewer crimes were reported, with burglary at its lowest level in 40 years.

The figures show that rape and domestic violence have increased, but, the force said, victims now feel more confident in reporting incidents.

The force has been set a target by the mayor of reducing crime by 20%.

The figures show that:

  • Recorded rapes have increased by 31.6% from 3,168 offences reported in 2012-13 to 4,170 in 2013-14
  • Robberies are down by 19% with nearly 6,500 fewer offences - which is the lowest level for 15 years
  • In the last year, the force has focused on robberies which involved a mobile phone theft; this has seen a 24% reduction
  • Theft from a person - when no threat or violence has been used - fell 13% (6,500)
  • Burglaries fell 8% (7,500) - this is the lowest level in London since 1974
  • Violence with injury is up on last year by 852 more offences - an increase of 1.5%. This has been attributed to domestic violence offences rather than street violence
  • Racist and religious hate crime has increased by 3.1%, whilst homophobic offences have increased by 5.6%
  • Offences involving weapons have reduced with more than 300 fewer gun-related crimes (-17%) and over 1,300 fewer knife offences (-11.5%). Similarly, youth violence fell by 4.1% (nearly 600 fewer victims)
  • There were three more murders reported last year, with 110 compared with 107 the previous year

The force has also changed its tactics towards gang-related crimes, with more emphasis on enforcement and preventative measures.

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Image caption Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has admitted that in the past, some crime statistics had been "massaged"

The force said that during the last financial year, more than 1,400 gang members have been arrested and those involved in gang-related crime were jailed for over 1,270 years.

A further 1,331 gang members are subject to judicial restrictions such as gang injunctions, ASBOs, electronically tagged or managed under License or Youth Referral Orders.

Trident officers have seized more than £940,000 in cash and about 330 firearms.

There has also been a 40% increase in officers visiting victims of crime with 203,562 appointments held.

The decrease in reported crimes has been attributed to an increase in "Big Wing operations" - whereby staff across the Met join in on a day of action to target specific areas of crime.

In November, a Met Police whistleblower said police forces were routinely manipulating crime statistics in order to meet targets; however, the force said how it recorded crimes had been audited with a compliance rate of 95%.

But Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe later said there was "some truth" to the allegations, and that an investigation into the claims would report back later this year.

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