§ Mrs. Brooke
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what efforts are being made by his Department to encourage the reporting of crime in high crime areas. 
§ Ms Blears
We are encouraging more people to report crimes in all areas by improving the way in which crimes reported to the police are recorded. The National Crime Recording Standard, formally introduced in all forces in England and Wales in April 2002, aims to bring greater consistency to the way in which crime is recorded by the police and to ensure a more victim centred approach to crime recording.
There have also been crime specific initiatives aimed at increasing the numbers of such crimes reported to the police, particularly, domestic violence and sexual offences. For example, the British Crime Survey shows that there was a 5 per cent. Increase in the proportion of violent crimes being reported to the police in 2002–03 compared with the previous year.
With a total sample size of 40,000 interviews a year, more emphasis is now being placed on the British Crime Survey as a way of measuring crime, as it covers unreported and unrecorded crime as well as offences which are reported to the police. As the survey is unaffected by changes in the level of public reporting to the police or police recording, it provides a more accurate picture of crime across England and Wales.405W