Crime Falls Again!!
As the Public Safety Presentation Team of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (SCLT) go visiting many community groups and gatherings to offer our educational message of home and personal safety for older adults, one of the things which always leaves an impression on the presenters, is that our audience frequently have a much more exaggerated fear of crime, or the risk of crime, than is actually the case.
So this week has brought welcome news, with the release of the latest crime figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). These figures, which cover the period of April 2012 - March 2013, show that crimes recorded by the police have fallen by 7% over the same period the previous year (April 2011 - March 2012). What these statistics actually mean, is that reported crime is now at it's lowest since the annual crime survey started in 1981!
This pleasing news also comes at a time when numbers of police offers have fallen nationally, by 4,500 officers in the last 12-months, to a low of less than 130,000 and the lowest since 2002. This shows that police investment in localised services and offender management has continued to pay dividends in respect to community safety in the cities, towns and rural areas of the UK.
One emerging area of concern, which was flagged up by the CSEW (Crime Survey of England & Wales), was the recent in crease in recorded instances of Fraud, which has seen a rise of 27% over the last year. This figure has undoubtedly been influenced by the way that frauds are now centrally recorded by the Action Fraud service. But a rise in computer-type frauds, such as financial scams and money transfer cons, will have also also played a significant part in the rise.
Ryan Jones is a volunteer with the SCLT and a keen follower of crime statistics, he said; "To many people these annual statistics have little actual meaning. However, I think we can take heart in the fact that general crime has continued to fall, even in a time of reductions in the law enforcement community. Here at the SCLT, we have taken heed of the concerning rise in computer based scams and cons and have incorported useful crime prevention advice into our public safety presentations"