I am very encouraged to see that the latest crime statistics show that crime is down by 38 per cent since June 2010, and in 2017 alone is down by 9 per cent in the year to June 2017. The independent Crime Survey for England and Wales, the best measure of crime experienced by individuals and families, also shows that crime is down by 70 per cent since its 1995 peak. This shows that police reform is working, and that families and communities are safer as a result.
However over the same period, the number of crimes recorded by police forces in England and Wales has increased. Much of this increase is due to continued improvements to recording practices, and an increased willingness of victims to come forward and report certain crimes like child sexual abuse and domestic violence to the police. But it is the case that some of this increase is genuine, which is why I welcome plans to consult on legislative measures to tackle offensive and dangerous weapons, a new action plan to tackle the use of acid and other corrosives in violent attacks, and the Government will continue to implement our Modern Crime Prevention Strategy which seeks to address the underlying drivers of crime.
Crime is changing, and the way we respond to crime must change accordingly. £1.9 billion is being invested to support the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 to counter the cyber threats the UK faces. A Joint Fraud Taskforce has also been established, which is a collective response to fraud that builds on the good work being done by the banks and the police to take on some of the most difficult issues that no single organisation can be expected to tackle alone.
April 2018 - Serious violence & Knife crime
We must break the deadly cycle of violence that devastates the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
While overall crime continues to fall, there has been an increase in violent crime offences recorded by the police since late 2014. This is why I welcome the Government's Serious Violence Strategy, which sets out its response to recent increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide. It outlines an ambitious programme working with a range of Government Departments and partnerships across a number of sectors such as education, health, social services, housing, youth services, and victim services.
Backed with £40 million of Home Office funding, the Strategy marks a major shift in the Government's response to knife and gun crime. It strikes a balance between prevention and robust law enforcement with a new £11 million Early Intervention Youth Fund for community projects to help young people live lives free from violence. The strategy identifies the changing drugs market, in particular the devastating impact of crack cocaine, as a key driver of the violence harming communities, and announces a range of powerful actions to tackle the issue of 'county lines' and its implications for drugs, violence and exploitation of vulnerable people. That includes £3.6 million to establish a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre.
The strategy is not solely focused on law enforcement, but also depends on partnerships across a number of sectors. Early intervention can help catch young people before they go down the wrong path, encouraging them to make positive choices. This is why the strategy represents a step change in the way Government responds, and I welcome the focus on early intervention and prevention to help steer young people away from crime in the first place, while putting in place measures to tackle the root causes of the problem.