Police record largest rise in crime in a decade with 26% hike in the murder rate among almost 5m offences

Police record largest rise in crime in a decade with 26% hike in the murder rate among almost 5m offences

Number of crimes recorded by officers rose by 10% on previous 12 months according to shocking new ONS figures

POLICE have recorded the largest rise in crime in a decade with a 26 per cent hike in the murder rate among almost five million total offences.

The number of crimes recorded by officers rose by 458,021 – 10 per cent on previous 12 months – according to shocking new ONS figures.

Police have recorded the largest rise in crime in a decade

Police have recorded the largest rise in crime in a decade

They said the rise in the 12-month period to March was driven by an increase in violence, with offences against the person soaring by 18 per cent to 175,060 offences.

Meanwhile, a long-term decline in the rate of theft was also reversed, rising by 7 per cent to 118,774 crimes, and public order offences jumped 39 per cent to 78,697.

Violence with injury jumped by 8 per cent and violence without injury rose by a quarter.

There was also a large rise in the assault without injury category that includes modern slavery, which rose by 1,385 offences, and stalking, up 1,135 crimes.

But the most striking increase was in the murder rate, with a total of 723 homicides recorded by police, an increase of more than a quarter on the previous year.

However this includes the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster, the ONS said, but with those cases excluded homicides still rose by 9 per cent.

The ONS said the rise was driven by an increase in violence

The ONS said the rise was driven by an increase in violence

Both knife and gun crime rose by more than a fifth on the previous year, with 5,800 more offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded by police, and an increase of 1,200 crimes involving a firearm.

The use of handguns in firearms offences has risen 24 per cent according to ONS.

John Flatley, head of crime statistics for the ONS, said: “The latest figures show the largest annual rise in crimes recorded by the police in a decade.

“While ongoing improvements to recording practices are driving this volume rise, we believe actual increases in crime are also a factor in a number of categories.”

But the most striking increase was the 26% hike in the murder rate

But the most striking increase was the 26% hike in the murder rate

In a different measure, there were an estimated 11 million offences covered by the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW), including new experimental figures of fraud and cyber crimes.

The ONS said there was a 7 per cent reduction in offences recorded by the CSEW, when fraud and cyber crimes were excluded – falling from 6.3 million to 5.9 million.

The CSEW asks victims about experiences of a range of crimes and does not include the same types as those measured by police recorded figures.

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Alexa Bradley, deputy head of crime statistics at ONS, explained why the CSEW and police records data appeared to show different trends.

She said: “It is important to remember that the sources differ in the population and offences they cover.

“At least half of the increase in police recorded crime series is in offences not covered by the survey, including shoplifting, public order offences and possession of weapons.”

Mr Flatley added: “People are a bit black and white – ‘crime survey is good, police recorded crime is bad’. It’s a bit more nuanced than that.”

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