The Crime Prevention Website

On 9th May 2013 the Office for National Statistics released their findings from additional analyses based on the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales and crimes recorded by the police covering different aspects of property crime.

This release focuses on Mobile Phone theft, Plastic Card fraud and Mass Marketing fraud.

A link is provided at the end of this news item together with links to relevant crime prevention advice pages on this website. 

Here’s a summary of the main findings:

  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows substantial falls in property crime, with levels having fallen by half since they peaked in the mid-1990s. These were driven by large reductions in high volume crimes such as vandalism, vehicle-related theft and burglary. While these high volume crime types continue to show falls, in contrast recent trends show increases in the lower volume personal theft offences such as theft from the person recorded by the police.
  • Recent increases in personal theft offences may reflect a range of factors including thieves focusing on high cost portable items such as mobile phones or tablet computers which are difficult to secure against theft and increasingly widely used. According to the 2011/12 CSEW almost half (46%) of theft from the person and robbery incidents involved theft of a mobile phone compared with just under a third (31%) in the 2010/11 survey.
  • According to the 2011/12 CSEW, around 2% of mobile phone owners experienced a phone theft in the previous 12 months. This proportion has been broadly consistent since 2005/06 (when the survey question was first introduced). However, due to the increase in mobile phone ownership over this period, the number of victims of mobile phone theft incidents has actually increased.
  • Mobile phone theft victims were most likely to be children aged 14 to 17 or young adults aged 18 to 24 years with the victimisation rate of these groups being twice as high as the average (4% compared with 2%).
  • Characteristics that contributed most to explaining the likelihood of victimisation varied by property crime type. For example, for both vehicle-related theft and theft from the person, younger adults were more likely to have been victims. The characteristic that contributed most to explaining the likelihood of being a victim of burglary was the level of home security; those households with less security measures in place were more likely to fall victim. Households in urban areas were also more likely to be victims of burglary than those in rural areas.
  • While we have seen substantial falls across many of the conventional property crime types over the last 10 to 20 years, some newer forms of crime have emerged. Based on the 2011/12 CSEW 4.7% of plastic card owners were victims of plastic card fraud in the last year; significantly higher than the more established acquisitive offences such as theft from the person and other theft of personal property (1.3% and 2.1% respectively). Trends in plastic card fraud in the CSEW shows rises in the proportion of card owners who were victims of fraud between the 2005/06 and 2008/09 surveys, with rates of victimisation subsequently falling.
  • The pattern of plastic card fraud victimisation by age shows a peak in the middle age groups, with lower rates of victimisation in the youngest and oldest age groups. Those in households with higher incomes and those in managerial and professional occupations were more likely to fall victim of plastic card fraud. This is in contrast to more conventional crimes like burglary, where likelihood of victimisation is typically higher among younger age groups and adults not in employment, and among households with lower incomes.
  • Over half (56%) of adults in England and Wales had received an unsolicited mass marketing fraud communication in the previous 12 months. While this shows that a relatively large proportion of adults were potentially exposed to becoming a victim of this type of fraud, only a very small percentage actually fell victim (less than 1% of those who received such a communication).

Read the full report from the Office for National Statistics here:

Mobile Phone Crime Prevention advice:

Students and Young People ‘Practising Safe Steps’:

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