Muggings and gun crime 'on rise'
Street robberies and gun crime rose in England and Wales last summer, new Home Office figures are expected to show.
But the recorded crime figures for July to September last year are also predicted to reveal a fall in the number of burglaries.
Figures for April to June 2005 showed a 4% rise in street robberies. This came after a three-year government scheme that had cut street crime ended.
The Home Office is to launch a review of how crime figures are calculated.
The recorded crime figures often fly in the face of the British Crime Survey, which polls people's experience of crime.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke is to announce that he is setting up a panel of experts to find a universally accepted way of calculating the figures.
The government's Street Crime Initiative targeted the 10 worst-hit areas and reduced street crime by almost a third between 2002 and 2004-5.
But the £81m programme ended last April.
Some police forces have already published figures for the past year - a 48% increase in street crime in Durham between July and September has been highlighted in some newspapers.
The main driver to this rise is the increasing number of hi-tech goods being carried by people
Metropolitan Police spokeswoman
But officers in Durham say the percentage rise is misleading as the numbers are relatively low, increasing from 44 to 65 on the same period the previous year.
In London, half of street crimes last year involved the theft of mobile phones.
The new generation of mobile phones are seen as a particular target of muggers.
Explaining London's overall street crime figures, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "We believe that the main driver to this rise is the increasing number of expensive and desirable hi-tech goods such as '3G' mobile phones being carried by people in the streets."
Studies by the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit have shown the stolen phones end up all over the world.
Ending number battles?
Crime figures usually spark a political battle with ministers arguing with opposition parties about what the different figures mean.
The Statistics Commission last year said the Home Office should be stripped of the task of compiling and processing the crime figures.
The watchdog voiced fears about low public trust in the figures, saying the broad crime figures were at risk of being lost amid confusing media reporting.
It is thought the group reviewing the figures will produce a one-off report rather than take charge of putting together each set of figures.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/26 02:46:18 GMT
© BBC MMVI
I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked!
Certainly Bush's fault.
That's weird! Are you sure about that? Doesn't make any sense at all to me.
The figures are all in... it has long been shown that
GUN CONTROL CAUSES CRIME!!!