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Crime: Economic Situation

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the likely effect of the economic downturn on levels of recorded crime. (246602)

Academic research, including a study by the Home Office, has demonstrated an association between changes in the economy and some crime. These studies cannot fully allow for the impact of policy or other interventions and hence do not predict actual levels of crime.

Since March 2003, overall crime has fallen by 18 per cent. exceeding the 15 per cent. target set out in the Home Office’s public service agreement. That reduction is greater than would have been forecast based on economic factors alone, and the Department is confident that the right policies and systems are in place to continue to cut crime and that they provide the flexibility needed to respond to future economic challenges.