Homophobic crimes in London have dropped over the last five years, according to the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) annual figures

This year’s crime figures revealed by the force show a drop in offences and more cases being solved, including racist, homophobic and domestic incidents.

There were 1,015,121 homophobic crimes in London between March 2004 and March 2005 compared with 984,125 between 2005 and 2006, showing a drop of 3.1 per cent.

The reports suggests overall crime is down three percent, bringing the number of crimes committed down to under a million. This includes the lowest level of homicide since 1998 and falls in many forms of violent crime.

The Met claims the figures show it is solving more crime, with the detection rate climbing and at its highest level since the late 1990s. It stands at 18%, beating the year’s target and up from last year’s rate of 14.7%. Murder squad detectives continue to solve 90% of homicides.

MPS officers have arrested almost 14,000 more people and the upward trend in public satisfaction with the Met Police has continued, a recent Mori poll revealed.

However the figures also show a 16.1% rise in robberies with a significant rise in youth on youth robbery, particularly of mobile phones. The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit estimated that in over 27,000 robberies mobile phones were part of the items stolen and in a third of those cases, were the only items stolen.

There was also a rise in gun enabled crime of 4.2% but since December 2005 there has been a downward trend back to similar levels of gun crime seen before the start of the financial year. Overall the number of gun enabled crimes remains much lower than the peak in offences in 2002.

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said: “Through the hard work of our dedicated police officers and support staff we are seeing some promising results. With overall crime falling and more crimes solved we are making London a safer place to live and work for everyone, except criminals.

“We know there is much more to do to meet the aspirations of Londoners in relation to tackling violent crime and will strive to bring crime down further.”