Garden and shed thefts rise by 13%
The number of thefts from outside homes, gardens and sheds rose by 13% over the last year, figures show.
Levels of such crimes have generally remained steady for the last six years and the increase comes despite overall crime levels remaining stable, figures from the British Crime Survey show.
A total of 1,314,000 incidents were reported in the 12 months to June, compared with just 1,167,000 incidents between July 2009 and June 2010, the BCS figures showed.
The British Crime Survey (BCS), based on interviews with tens of thousands of people in more than 45,000 households, also showed increases in lower-level theft offences, such as pick-pocketing, shoplifting and thefts from homes by workmen.
Other figures released showed the number of robberies involving knives recorded by police rose by 7%, the total number of recorded robberies by 3%, and the most serious sexual offences by 2%.
But overall, the number of crimes recorded by police fell 4% over the last 12 months to 4,096,717 in the year to June, down from 4,267,752 in the previous 12 months.
A breakdown of the figures showed the number of robberies involving knives rose to 14,980 from 13,994, the number of robberies rose to 76,786 from 74,887 and the number of the most serious sexual crimes - including rapes, sexual assault and sexual activity with children - went up from 44,415 to 45,498.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said the rise in robberies was thought to be driven by thieves stealing mobile phones. Chief Constable Jon Murphy, the Acpo lead on crime, said: "While there were falls in most police recorded crime and particularly in violence against the person, the increase in robbery and robbery with knives is a cause for concern.
"We believe this is in part driven by demand for mobile phone handsets, which can fetch more than double their worth on the black market abroad. Worryingly, a large proportion of phone owners still do not have passcodes on their phones, leaving them vulnerable to possible ID theft and fraud."
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said: "The figures show a mixed picture. We see different things across different offences and different areas of the country. We are doing everything we can to reduce crime."