5.2m offences recorded by police as violent crime surges

A surge in violent crime has helped push the number of offences recorded by police in England and Wales past five million, new figures reveal.

Forces registered 5.2 million offences in the year to the end of June, which was up by 13% on the previous 12 months.

The data, published by the Office for National Statistics, showed the number of violence against the person crimes logged by police went up by a fifth (19%) to 1.2 million.

Police-recorded offences are one of two official sources used to analyse trends in crime.

The other is the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which gave an estimated total of 10.8 million incidents of crime in the year to the end of June.

This figure includes experimental data on fraud and computer misuse offences, and annual comparisons will not be available until January.

John Flatley, head of crime statistics at the ONS, said: "Today's figures suggest that the police are dealing with a growing volume of crime.

"While improvements made by police forces in recording crime are still a factor in the increase, we judge that there have been genuine increases in crime - particularly in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories.

"Police figures cannot provide a good measure of all crime in society, since we know that a large volume of it never comes to their attention.

"The recent increases in recorded crime need to be seen in the context of the overall decline in crime indicated by the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

"The Survey remains our best guide to long-term trends for crime as experienced by the population in general."