While government sources applauded the 7% drop in crime last year, charities and social welfare groups warned that the drop is nothing to do with people being better behaved but is entirely due to the fact that people are too poor to commit crimes.
One former burglar said, "I used to go out at night wearing a mask and carrying a jemmy and a bag with the word 'lolly' on it. Nowadays, the mask costs over £20, the bag with the word 'lolly' has to be ordered and paid for in advance, and nobody seems to know what a jemmy is. Not to mention that bus fares to the posh parts of town have rocketed."
Police have also condemned the statistics. One officer said, "it used to be that you could go out on a Saturday night and find someone suspicious to administer a good kicking to. Me and the sarge went out last weekend and we only found an old codger in the alley and he wasn't stealing anything. We gave him a stiff beating anyway, but it didn't feel right."
However, some crimes have gone up, including fraud and sexual offences, though these are expected to fall as the number of MPs is cut and more BBC staff are likely to be laid off.