Overall crime continues to fall in Merseyside, official figures show.

Latest figures show that in the year to September, overall crime reduced by 0.7 per cent in the county including burglary, theft, drugs and public order offences.

The same period saw a rise in shoplifting with incidents up by 14 per cent, according to the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling said: “Despite a variety of ongoing challenges, we have seen a slight decrease in overall crime this quarter, however we are very alive to the fact that we have seen increases in some crime areas.

“We will continue to target our proactive resources in tackling the issues that matter to local communities, while delivering an excellent policing service to the people of Merseyside.”

Mr Pilling added that the force will continue to listen to the concerns of communities and is advancing its fight against serious crime with the creation of the new Matrix Serious Organised Crime team.

He said: “We have always stood firm in our promise to tackle these issues and this will continue.

"This is combined with the dedication of our officers, who respond to incidents with courage, courtesy and professionalism, which we hope will build upon strong public confidence and keep our communities safe.

“We recognise that we cannot be complacent and will continue to act with openness, honesty and integrity and strive to find the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver policing in Merseyside."

Further afield, crime against households and adults in England and Wales fell 10% - the lowest level since the survey began 32 years ago .

There were about 8m incidents of crime against households and adults in the period, according to the survey by the Office for National Statistics.

Police recorded 3.7m offences in the year to September, a decrease of 3% compared with the previous year.

However, police-recorded crime figures were last week stripped of an official "gold standard" mark by the statistics watchdog, amid mounting concern they were being "fiddled" by police.