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Crime Levels

Volume 590: debated on Monday 5 January 2015

Police reform is working and crime is down by more than a fifth under this Government, according to the independent crime survey for England and Wales. England and Wales are safer than they have been for decades, with the survey showing crime at the lowest level since it began, in 1981.

I thank the Minister for that answer. Will she join me in congratulating Thames Valley police? We saw a 30% drop in recorded crime between June 2010 and June 2014. What does that say about the extent to which Thames Valley police are keeping my constituents safe?

I am happy to do as my hon. Friend suggests and congratulate Thames Valley police on all they have done in reducing crime by 30% in their area, but I also congratulate all police forces that are rising to the challenge of driving efficiency and cutting crime. Effective policing plays a key part in reducing crime, as does tackling the underlying drivers of crime, which this coalition is also doing.

The Minister does not have much to say about card crime, which is up by a quarter, or online banking fraud, which is up by 71%. More and more people shop online, particularly over Christmas and the new year, but Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary found that just 2% of police had any training in cybercrime. When will the Government stop being so complacent about crime that is still rising?

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his place. Up to now, cybercrime has been a lesser interest. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that the trend among all people now is to buy online, but I would say that what is illegal offline is also illegal online. Policing cyberspace is just as important as policing the streets, and that is what our police force is doing.

The police in my constituency do an excellent job. Will the Minister join me in congratulating them on reducing crime by 13% and keeping us all safe in the great city of Brighton and Hove?

I am more than happy to congratulate my hon. Friend’s local police on their efforts to reduce crime and their success in doing so. As I said, I congratulate all police forces across the country who are managing the reductions efficiently and cutting crime.

I might not have put it that way, but when one compares murder with shoplifting, that is one issue. The important point is that all crime should be tackled, regardless of what it is. Someone might start with shoplifting, but who knows where they will end up? Our objective is to cut all crime.