Crime hits historic low – but sexual offences shoot up

Crime has hit he lowest point since records began but sexual offences have bucked the trend, according to official statistics.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated there were eight million crimes against households or people in the last 12 months, a fall of ten per cent on last year's survey.

It is the lowest estimate since records began in 1981.

But sexual offences rose by a staggering 17%.

Analysts suggested the rise could be due to increase reporting of offences rather than an increase in incidents themselves.

Some have pointed to a 'Yewtree effect', with more people being encouraged to come forward and report historic sexual offences by the extensive coverage of crimes in the media.

Shoplifting also increased by four per cent and theft from the person by seven per cent.