Crime has fallen to its lowest level since 1981, according to the national victims’ survey, but police recorded crime showed significant increases in sexual offending cases, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The latest data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that there were 6.8 million crimes in 2014/15, down 7% on the last 12 months.
But sexual offences recorded by the police rose by 37%, with the numbers of rapes (29,265) and other sexual offences (58,954) being at the highest level since the introduction of the national crime recording standard 12 years ago.
The ONS said the rise was partly down to “a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes”.
The figures came as the Government confirmed the national police workforce dropped by more than 2,200 officers during the 12 months to March 31 2015.