§ Mr. Kaufman
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in respect of each police force area in England and Wales, what is the percentage change between 1978 and 1985 in (a) total crimes, (b) crimes of violence against the person, (c) burglaries, (d) offences of theft or handling stolen goods, (e) offences of fraud or forgery and (f) offences of criminal damage, taking account, where necessary, of changes in recording practice.
§ Mr. Mellor
Numbers of notifiable offences recorded by each police force for each of the offence groups requested are published annually in the Command Papers on "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" and most recently in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin for 1985 (table 6 of issue number 4/86). Because of changes in the counting rules which were introduced in 1980 to secure greater uniformity of recording, it is not possible to make precise comparisons between 1978 and 1985. The three offence groups thought to be most affected by these changes were theft and handling stolen goods (where the overall numbers may have been increased), fraud and forgery (where the numbers were probably reduced) and criminal damage (where the numbers may have been reduced); the other offence groups are thought to have been affected to a lesser extent. However, the effects probably differed from one police force area to another.