The Crime Prevention Website

Here are the main points from the latest Crime bulletin from the Office for National Statistics (Published 19 October) with a couple of notes added to highlight the fact that there have been genuine increases in the theft category of offences.

Main Points

  • Official statistics cannot provide a measure of all crime, but the available sources can provide useful insights to long-term and emerging trends in crimes.
  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides a good measure of long-term trends for a selected range of crimes experienced by the general public, including those not reported to the police and the latest figures show one in five adults, aged 16 and over, had fallen victim in the previous year.
  • Including new Experimental Statistics on fraud and computer misuse offences, the CSEW estimated 10.8 million incidents of crime in the latest survey year, but first annual comparisons will not be available until January 2018.
  • The police recorded 5.2 million offences in the latest year; this series can provide a better indication of emerging trends but can also reflect changes in recording practices and police activity rather than genuine changes in crime.
  • The 13% increase in police recorded crime from the previous year reflects a range of factors including continuing improvements to crime recording and genuine increases in some crime categories, especially in those that are well-recorded. [This includes rises in all main categories of theft, including burglary (6%), vehicle-related theft offences (17%), theft from the person (11%)]
  • The new presentation of official statistics on violent crime highlights there were 711 deaths or serious injuries caused by illegal driving, a 6% rise from that recorded in the previous year. [It is likely that rises in the most serious categories reflect genuine rises in violent crime]
  • A number of sources showed a rise in bank and credit card fraud in the last year; UK Finance reported a 3% rise in the volume of fraudulent transactions reported on UK-issued cards.

Statistician’s Comment

"Today's figures suggest that the police are dealing with a growing volume of crime. While improvements made by police forces in recording crime are still a factor in the increase, we judge that there have been genuine increases in crime – particularly in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories."

"Police figures cannot provide a good measure of all crime in society, since we know that a large volume of it never comes to their attention. The recent increases in recorded crime need to be seen in the context of the overall decline in crime indicated by the Crime Survey for England and Wales."

“The Survey remains our best guide to long-term trends for crime as experienced by the population in general."

John Flatley, Crime Statistics and Analysis, Office for National Statistics, @ONSJohnFlatley on Twitter.

My Comment

I have suggested before that some of the welcomed long term falls in theft crime categories such as burglary and vehicle offences were beginning to slow and bottom out and now we are beginning to see them rise a little.  This should be seen in context however since overall crime is still significantly lower than it was during the mid 1990s.  That all being said the police have still recorded 5.2 million offences (well over 14,000 offences per day and a 13% increase on the 12 months before), so there’s no room for complacency when it comes to our role in preventing it.   

blog comments powered by Disqus