§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what percentage recorded crime levels have changed in the past five years. 
§ Ms Blears
Police recorded crime is affected by changes in recorded practice. Revisions to the Home Office counting rules in April 1998 and the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002, have resulted in substantially more crimes being recorded. This is because more categories of crime have 667W been introduced into the coverage of recorded crime, and the police are now recording a higher proportion of crimes reported to them.
When factoring out these changes in order to produce a fairer like-for-like comparison, total recorded crime remained broadly unchanged between 1997–98 and 2002–03.