Home Office release statistics showing drop in UK's violent crime

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Thursday, February 9, 2006

The Home Office department of the UK government have released statistics claiming an 11 percent drop in violent crime over the 2005 Christmas period, with a 21 percent drop in 'serious violent crime'.

This drop in violent crime coincided with a six week police campaign, aimed at reducing the level of alcohol related disorders. Home Secretary Charles Clarke said "[these] figures are a credit to all those committed to tackling alcohol related disorder. Delivering results, reducing violent crime and underage sales in local communities takes us another step closer to removing such unacceptable behaviour from our streets."

The police campaign followed the introduction of new UK licensing laws which allow pubs and bars to potentially open for longer than the previous 11PM curfew, with '24 hour' opening a possibility. Critics, including the opposition Conservative party, had predicted that this would lead to a rise in drunken behaviour. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, a strong proponent of the new laws, said of the statistics "thanks to the new licensing laws, the police and local authorities have joined forces to use tougher powers to deal with the problem at the source."

The Conservative Party are accusing the government of spinning the statistics, suggesting that the drop in violent crime was due to the police campaign. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said "what this shows is that if you put more bobbies on the street you will cut crime. However these figures are a result of a six-week crack down on violence which cost £2.5m - what happens when this money runs out?"