Crime recorded by the police fell by 8% in the last year, official figures revealed.
Reported incidents of criminal damage were down 17%, offences against vehicles were down 16% and domestic burglary fell by 8% compared with last year, the latest Home Office figures for the year to June 2010 showed.
But the number of recorded sexual offences rose by 8%.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "Victims of crime know that while any reduction in crime is welcomed, statistics only present a partial picture.
"There are still too many offences which ruin lives, whether they are recorded or not, and that means more needs to be done to bring down crime.
She went on: "It is unacceptable that each day on average more than 26,000 people fall victim to crime and the police report stubbornly high levels of violence - on average 1,000 people are injured each day.
"We want to ensure that police and their partner agencies continue to work together to focus on fighting crime, which is why we are slashing bureaucracy to ensure police officers are visible and available on the streets and making police forces more accountable to their local communities."
Chief Constable Keith Bristow, head of crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said officers were still working "to improve all areas of sex offence investigation".
"We remain determined to tackle people who commit sexual offences and we are making real progress in this critical area, particularly around giving victims confidence to come forward and report these crimes and we need them do so," he said.
"These overall results are a strong indication of the dedication of our workforce and others to keep people safe. We remain resolute in our mission to provide a visible and responsive police service that tackles the challenges which matter most to the people."