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Robbery rate worse than US - study

England and Wales has one of the worst crime rates among developed nations for rapes, burglaries and robberies, a United Nations report has found.

The study for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found England and Wales had more burglaries and robberies per 100,000 people than the United States in 2006. But offenders were locked up for shorter periods than in comparable countries, the research showed.

In an analysis of the figures by think-tank Civitas, which compared only those countries which were members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), England and Wales was ranked fifth for burglaries, with a rate of 1,157.7 per 100,000 people.

This compared with 714.4 for the US and was worse than Slovenia (902.9), the Czech Republic (523.3), and Turkey (216.9).

The figures also showed England and Wales had a worse robbery rate (188.7 per 100,000) than the US (146.4), Poland (92.2), Slovenia (31.5) and Turkey (28.5). For rapes, England and Wales (25.6) was ranked eighth, worse than Norway (18), Germany (9.9) and Poland (5.2).

But England and Wales fared better when it came to "intentional homicides" and major assaults, being ranked 15th and 18th respectively.

The study also showed that England and Wales had a low "punitivity ratio" compared with other countries because shorter sentences were being handed down by judges. The ratio was calculated by contrasting the number of people convicted in a year per 100,000 population with the number of prisoners in jail. England and Wales had a ratio of just 0.04, compared with 0.06 for France and 0.11 for Germany.

The figures are from 2006, the latest year for which comparable statistics are available, and draw together crimes recorded by police in the countries studied.

A Home Office spokesman said: "This data is now more than four years old, but highlights that we have a high level of crime compared to other countries. This backs up the perceptions of many communities who have real concerns about stubbornly high levels of serious crimes.

"This Government will reform the police to make them more accountable to their communities and cut bureaucracy to get officers on to the beat and fighting crime."


From Belfast Telegraph