§ Mr. Cox
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the crime detection rate has been within the Metropolitan Police force area during each of the last five years; 
(2) how many robberies were committed in each of the last five years within the Metropolitan Police force area. 
§ Mr. Denham
Overall detection rates and numbers of robbery offences recorded for the Metropolitan Police are given in the table.
Robery offences recorded 19971 27,386 1998–992 26,330 1999–20003 36,317 2000–014 40,992 2001–024 53,547
Detection rate percentage for total recorded crime 19971 26 1998–992 22 1999–20003 16 2000–014 15 2001–024 14
1 Recorded on a calendar year basis up to 1997, and thereafter on a financial year basis (12 months to March).
2 The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the expanded offence coverage and revised counting rules which came into effect on 1 April 1998. This will also have affected the detection rate.
3 The counting rules for detections changed on 1 April 1999.
4 Figures recorded on the new boundary basis, whereby the Metropolitan Police ceded parts of its boundary to three surrounding police forces, Essex. Hertfordshire and Surrey, on I April 2000.
There was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which would have the tendency to increase the number of offences counted. Numbers of offences before and after this date are therefore no directly comparable.
There was also a change in counting rules for detections on 1 April 1999. The new instructions provide more precise and rigorous criteria for recording a detection, with the underlying emphasis on the successful result of a police investigation. Numbers of detections before and after this date are therefore not directly comparable.