Northern Ireland crime rate still well behind that in England and Wales: survey
Northern Ireland is still much safer than England and Wales, a crime survey revealed today.
Around 14% of people are likely to fall victim to crime, compared to more than a fifth of those in England and Wales.
But with the weakened hold of paramilitaries and greater willingness of people to report incidents to police, more cases may be coming to light which were previously hidden, an expert said.
University of Ulster lecturer in criminology Dr John Topping said: “People have been so concerned with the bigger conflict that normal crime has not been on the agenda.
“Now normal crime issues are coming to the fore. It does not necessarily mean there is more crime, it means people are more prepared to go to the police.”
He said there was little evidence that the crime gap with England and Wales was closing significantly and levels were among their lowest for 12 years.
The Northern Ireland crime survey bulletin for 2009/10 was published by the Department of Justice.
It said the risk of becoming a victim of crime in Northern Ireland was 14%, compared to 21% in England and Wales.