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Common Assault

Home Department written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of common assault have been committed in Lancashire in each year since 1997.

Photo of John Denham John Denham Minister (Home Office) (Police and Crime Reduction)

The number of common assaults, and racially aggravated common assaults, recorded by the police in Lancashire are given in the table. The former category was introduced as a recorded crime on 1 April 1998, and the latter was counted separately from 1 April 1999.

Recorded common assaults in Lancashire
Year Common assault Racially aggravated common assault
1998–99(25) 2,109 n/a
1999/2000(25) 2,208 63
2000/01(25) 3,052 52

(25) Year ending March

It should be noted that recorded violent crime is subject to changes in reporting and recording. The 2000–01 figure for Lancashire may have been affected by new recording practices introduced by the force in April 2000. Also, for example, the 2001 British Crime Survey found that, over England and Wales as a whole, reporting to the police of common assault rose from 29 per cent. in 1999 to 39 per cent. in the year 2000.

The British Crime Survey has shown that, in England and Wales as a whole, the number of common assaults recorded in the survey decreased by 14 per cent. between the 1999 and 2000 calendar years, whereas common assaults recorded by the police increased by an estimated 9 per cent. Common assaults recorded by the police may therefore not necessarily be a reflection of the real level of this offence.

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