Vandalism and gun crime fall to 20-year low

The official Crime Survey of England and Wales reveals a significant drop in crime, with similar results reported in Scotland

Rates of vandalism and gun crime have fallen significantly in recent years, new research shows.

The Gun Control Network, which campaigns for tougher restrictions on firearms, recently reported a “sharp drop” in deaths in Britain from gunshot wounds. The network said there were just 42 gun-related deaths in 2012, reflecting a 20-year low.

Vandalism in the UK is also said to be falling at a faster rate than any other type of crime, with the official Crime Survey of England and Wales revealing a 37% drop in arson, graffiti and broken windows since March 2007. It’s a similar story in Scotland, where the Scottish Crime Survey reported a 27% decline since 2008/09.

Crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said: “Police reform is working. We have swept away central targets, reduced bureaucracy and these figures show forces are rising to the challenge of doing more with less. Many have achieved significant reductions in crime with reduced budgets.”

Douglas Paxton, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on statistics and deputy chief constable, said the study had noted the quality of crime recording by the UK police was “amongst the best in the world.” However, the Office for National Statistics has cast aspersions on the findings, stating that the rate of reduction in recorded crime “may overstate” the decrease, and blames botched figures for the apparent decline.

Constable Paxton added: “Ensuring our data is as robust as it can be has a direct impact on public trust and confidence, and we will continue to ensure forces continue to meet the national standard when it comes to recording crimes.”