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Property crime rates decline by 9%

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Britons can give their home insurance and car insurance fears a rest as official figures show crime rates at their lowest level since 1981.

Offences declined by 9% from 10.5 million to 9.6 million in 2009/10, the first time the number went below the 10 million mark since records began, according to the British Crime Survey (BCS).

The fall of 9% in domestic burglaries and of 17% in vehicle crime were described by Home Office chief statistician David Blunt as "surprising".

He attributed the improvement to the availability of better security measures such as high-technology door and window locks, burglar alarms and vehicle immobilisers.

He also said that many other developed countries were seeing a fall in property crime during the same period.

Mr Blunt said: "There is no single definitive explanation and it seems likely that a number of different factors have contributed in different ways."

Credit card fraud numbers registered a dip of 2% and overall UK fraud losses fell by 16%, statistics showed.

Despite a steady rise noticed in plastic fraud, the latest figures did not show any increase in the number of its victims.

Overall acquisitive crime fell by 9% from 5,977,000 offences to 5,427,000 offences.

© Press Association 2010