Crime has dropped by a third over the last decade, according to numbers recorded by police.
In England and Wales, 3.9 million offence were recorded from January to June this year, a third lower than in 2002-3, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Homicide was down 14% and attempted murder down 12%. Estimates of violent crime are now around half the level seen in 1995, the survey showed.
Crimes committed against adults was also down, falling 6% in the last year, but "after a period of little change the underlying trend remains fairly flat", separate data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) showed.
But offences like pick-pocketing - officially known as theft from the person - showed a 6% increase.
Such thefts may also be less likely to be reported, accounting for 3% of overall police recorded crime, as the victim is often completely unaware when their phone or wallet is being stolen.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said: "Crime is falling. I want people to be safe and secure and this is very welcome news.
"Today's figures indicate you have the lowest chance of being a victim of crime since the survey began in 1981."
Police reform was working, he said, adding that it showed "how the police are deployed, rather than their absolute numbers, is what is key to cutting crime".
Deputy Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "These overall crime reductions have been achieved at a time when forces are facing significant cash savings.
"The service remains determined to continue to build on the good work reflected in these publications and the results are a credit to those officers and staff who have faced the challenge of major efficiencies while continuing to tackle crime in our communities."
Labour's shadow policing minister David Hanson said: "Any fall in overall crime is welcome, but I'm sure the Government would agree that crime remains too high.
"We need to ensure everything is being done to tackle crime to follow the fall in crime of over 40% that Labour achieved.
"Cutting 15,000 police officers from across the country shows the Government are simply not doing everything they can."
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: "Crime has been falling for 20 years now.
"We welcome this of course, but we know from the thousands of victims we've helped in the last month alone that crime is a real problem for a lot of people.
"A fall in crime isn't grounds for complacency. Many victims still need help to cope and recover after a crime has taken place."