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Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending June 2014 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 16 October 2014 Download PDF

Key points

  • Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) show that, for the offences it covers, there were an estimated 7.1 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending June 2014. This represents a 16% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.
  • The CSEW covers a broad range of victim based crimes and includes crimes which do not come to the attention of the police. Decreases were evident for all major crime types compared with the previous year; violence saw a 23% fall, criminal damage fell by 20%, and theft offences decreased by 12%.
  • In contrast, police recorded crime shows no overall change from the previous year, with 3.7 million offences recorded in the year ending June 2014. Prior to this, police recorded crime figures have shown year on year reductions since 2003/04.
  • The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording is likely to have prompted improved compliance with national standards in some police forces, leading to more crimes being recorded. This is thought to have particularly affected the police recorded figures for violence against the person (up 11%) and public order offences (up 6%).
  • The number of police recorded shoplifting offences showed a 5% increase compared with the previous year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this rise is more likely to be a result of a genuine increase in crime rather than any change in recording practice.
  • There was also an increase in the volume of fraud recorded (8% year on year), though it is difficult to judge to what extent that reflected an improvement in recording practices, an increase in public reports or a rise in actual criminality. It is thought that levels of fraud are thought to be substantially under-reported and thus these figures simply provide a measure of such offences brought to the attention of the authorities.
  • Sexual offences recorded by the police saw a 21% rise from the previous year and continues the pattern seen in recent publications. Current, rather than historic, offences account for the majority of the increase in sexual offences (73% within the last 12 months). Despite these recent increases, it is known that sexual offences are subject to a high degree of under-reporting.

Understanding Crime Statistics

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two main sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW; previously known as the British Crime Survey), and police recorded crime. Neither of these sources can provide a picture of total crime.

Crime Survey for England and Wales

The CSEW is a face-to-face victimisation survey in which people resident in households in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected number of offences in the 12 months prior to the interview. It covers both children aged 10-15 and adults aged 16 and over, but does not cover those living in group residences (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons), or crimes against commercial or public sector bodies. For the population and offence types it covers, the CSEW is a valuable source for providing robust estimates on a consistent basis over time.

It is able to capture all offences experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to, and recorded by, the police. It covers a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by the resident household population. However, there are some serious but relatively low volume offences, such as homicide and sexual offences that are not included in its main estimates. The survey also currently excludes fraud and cyber crime though there is ongoing development work to address this gap – see the methodological note 'Work to extend the Crime Survey for England and Wales to include fraud and cyber crime'. This infographic sets out what is and is not covered by the CSEW.

Police recorded crime

Police recorded crime figures cover selected offences that have been reported to and recorded by the police. They are supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police, via the Home Office to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The coverage of police recorded crime statistics is defined by the Notifiable Offence List (NOL)1, which includes a broad range of offences, from murder to minor criminal damage, theft and public order offences. The NOL excludes less serious offences that are dealt with exclusively at magistrates courts.

Police recorded crime is the primary source of sub-national crime statistics and for relatively low volume crimes. It covers people (including, for example, residents of institutions and tourists) and sectors (for example commercial crime) excluded from the CSEW sample. While the police recorded crime series covers a wider population and a broader set of offences than the CSEW, it does not include crimes which do not come to the attention of the police or that are not recorded by them.

Statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to currently meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics (see Recent assessments of crime statistics and accuracy later on in this section).

This bulletin also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture of crime and disorder, including incidents of anti-social behaviour recorded by the police and other transgressions of the law that are dealt with by the courts but are not covered in the recorded crime collection.

Further information on the datasets is available in the Data Sources – coverage and coherence section of this Statistical Bulletin and the CSEW Technical report (957.7 Kb Pdf) .

The User Guide (1.36 Mb Pdf) to Crime Statistics for England and Wales provides information for those wanting to obtain more detail on crime statistics. This includes information on the datasets used to compile the statistics and is a useful reference guide with explanatory notes regarding updates, issues and classifications which are crucial to the production and presentation of the crime statistics.

For the expert user, the Quality and Methodology report sets out information about the quality of crime statistics and the roles and responsibilities of the different departments involved in the production and publication of crime statistics.

A more interactive guide is available to provide new users with information on crime statistics.

A short video is available to give users an introduction to crime statistics, by giving an overview of the main data sources used to produce the statistics.

Recent assessments of crime statistics and accuracy

Following an assessment of ONS crime statistics by the UK Statistics Authority, published in January 2014, the statistics based on police recorded crime data have been found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales continue to be badged as National Statistics.

In their assessment report the UK Statistics Authority set out 16 requirements to be addressed in order for the statistics to meet National Statistics standards. ONS are working in collaboration with the Home Office Statistics Unit and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to address these requirements. A summary of progress so far is available on the Crime statistics methodology page. Furthermore, in November 2014 ONS will launch a user engagement exercise to help expand our knowledge of users’ needs in light of concerns raised about the quality of police recorded crime. Any users of the statistics who would like to take part should e-mail CrimeStatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk and will then be notified when the exercise is launched.

As part of a recent inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) into crime statistics, allegations of under-recording of crime by the police have been made. In this PASC inquiry the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, outlined how HMIC would be undertaking an inspection of the integrity of police recorded crime during 2014. Findings of the ongoing inspections of crime recording processes and practices will help provide further information on the level of compliance across England and Wales.

An interim report on progress and emerging findings was published in May 2014 based on results from the first 13 forces inspected and Crime Data Integrity Force Reports for 21 police forces were published in August 2014, detailing the findings of each force’s inspection and recommendations for improving the accuracy of the data. A final HMIC report is expected to be published later this year.

Further information on the accuracy of the statistics is also available in the Accuracy of the statistics section of this Statistical Bulletin.

Time periods covered

The latest CSEW figures presented in this release are based on interviews conducted between July 2013 and June 2014, measuring each respondent’s experiences of crime in the 12 months before the interview. It therefore covers a rolling reference period with, for example, respondents interviewed in July 2013 reporting on crimes experienced between July 2012 and June 2013 and those interviewed in June 2014 reporting on crimes taking place between June 2013 and May 2014. For that reason, the CSEW tends to lag short-term trends.

Recorded crime figures relate to crimes recorded by the police during the year ending June 20142 and therefore are not subject to the time lag experienced by the CSEW3. Recorded crime figures presented in this release are those notified to the Home Office and that were recorded in the Home Office database on 4 September 2014.

Nine months of the data reported here overlap with the data contained in the previous bulletin and as a result the estimates in successive bulletins are not from independent samples. Therefore, year on year comparisons are made with the previous year; that is, the 12 months period ending June 2013 (rather than those published last quarter). To put the latest dataset in context, data are also shown for the year ending March 2009 (five years ago) and the year ending March 2004 (ten years ago). Additionally, for the CSEW estimates, data for the year ending December 1995, which was when crime peaked in the CSEW (when the survey was conducted on a calendar year basis), are also included.

Changes in presentation

ONS undertook a consultation during 2012 over proposed changes to the presentation of crime statistics. A summary response was published in January 2013 and several changes to the presentation of crime statistics were implemented for subsequent bulletins (released in July 2013, October 2013, January 2014, April 2014 and July 2014). Further detail on the changes made to the presentation of CSEW statistics can be found in the methodological note ‘Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales’.

An additional piece of survey development work has also been implemented to produce revised survey weights and a back-series following the release of the 2011 Census-based population estimates. The programme of work to produce the revised weights and key estimates for all survey years back to 2001/02 is now complete and both CSEW and police recorded crime use post 2011 Census population figures. Micro datasets for the entire affected back-series will be published at a later date. Further information can be found in the methodological note ‘Presentational and methodological improvements to National Statistics on the Crime Survey for England and Wales’.

Notes for Understanding Crime Statistics:

1. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (offences which could be tried at a crown court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.

2. Police recorded crime statistics are based on the year in which the offence was recorded rather than the year in which it was committed. As such data for any given period will include some historic offences.

3. While the CSEW asks victims about their experiences of crime in the 12 months prior to the interview, police recorded crimes relate to offences that could have occurred at any time and not necessarily within the year ending June 2014.

Summary

Latest headline figures from the CSEW and police recorded crime

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) covers a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by the resident household population although there are some serious but relatively low volume offences, such as homicide and sexual offences, that are not included in its main estimates. The survey also currently excludes fraud and cyber crime though there is ongoing development work to address this gap – see the methodological note 'Work to extend the Crime Survey for England and Wales to include fraud and cyber crime'. For more information on what is and is not included, see this guide to the CSEW.

Latest figures from the CSEW show there were an estimated 7.1 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending June 2014 (Table 1). This represents a 16% decrease from 8.4 million incidents compared with the previous year’s survey (one of the largest year-on-year decreases recorded by the survey) and continues the long downward trend seen since the mid-1990s. The latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to be 31% lower than the 2008/09 survey, and 63% lower than its peak level in 19951.

Crime covered by the CSEW rose steadily from 1981, before peaking in 1995. After peaking, the CSEW showed marked falls up until the 2004/05 survey. Since then, the underlying trend has continued downwards, but with some fluctuation from year to year (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Sources: Crime Survey for England and Wales – Office for National Statistics, Police recorded crime – Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) from 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (July to June).

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The CSEW additionally estimated that 769,000 crimes were experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending June 2014. Of this number, 56% were categorised as violent crimes2 (427,000), while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (296,000; 38%). Incidents of criminal damage to personal property experienced by children were less common (47,000; 6% of all crimes). The proportions of violent, personal property theft and criminal damage crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 are similar to the previous year (55%, 40% and 5% respectively).

Police recorded crime covers offences that have been reported to and recorded by the police and thus does not provide a total count. The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending June 2014, a similar number to that recorded in the previous year (Table 2)3. This changes the general trend seen since 2003/04 of police recorded crime figures showing year on year reductions. While the rate of reduction has slowed over the last three years; the latest figures are 21% lower than in 2008/09 and 38% lower than the peak in 2003/04.

Like CSEW crime, police recorded crime also increased during most of the 1980s, reaching a peak in 1992, and then fell each year until 1998/99. Expanded coverage of offences in the recorded crime collection, following changes to the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) in 1998, and the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) in April 2002, saw increases in the number of crimes recorded by the police while the CSEW count fell. Following the bedding in of these changes, trends from the two series tracked each other well from 2002/03 until 2006/07. While both series continued to show a downward trend between 2007/08 and 2012/13, the gap between the two series widened with police recorded crime showing a faster rate of reduction (32% for the police compared with 19% for the CSEW for a comparable basket of crimes)4. However, for the most recent year this pattern has changed with the recorded crime series showing no percentage change while the survey estimates have continued to fall.

A possible factor behind the changing trend in recorded crime is the recent renewed focus on the quality of recording by the police in the light of the ongoing inspections of forces by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry into crime statistics, and the UK Statistics Authority’s decision to remove the National Statistics designation from recorded crime. This renewed focus may have led to improved compliance with the NCRS.

Victim-based crime 5 accounted for 84% of all police recorded crime, and fell by 1% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, with 3.1 million offences recorded. Within victim-based crime, there were decreases across most of the police recorded crime categories. The notable exceptions to this were violence against the person (up 11%), shoplifting (up 5%) and sexual offences (up 21%).

Other crimes against society 6 accounted for 11% of police recorded crime and showed a decrease of 1% with the previous year, with 398,866 offences recorded. Within this crime type, offences involving possession of weapons rose by 5% from the previous year, public order offences rose by 6% and miscellaneous crimes against society rose by 9%. Public order offences account for the largest volume rise; trends in such offences tend to reflect changes in police workload and activity, and improved compliance rather than levels of criminality. Total drug offences decreased by 7% to 192,925 offences.

The remaining 6% of recorded crimes were fraud offences. There were 209,631 fraud offences recorded by the police and Action Fraud in the year ending June 2014 (an increase of 8% on the previous year). However, trends in fraud should be interpreted with caution. It is unclear to what extent there has been a genuine increase in such crimes or whether the move to the centralised recording of such offences has led to improved counting of fraud offences; see the ‘Total fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud’ section for further details.

In addition, fraud data are also collected from industry bodies by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). In the year ending June 2014, there were 363,092 reports of fraud to the NFIB from industry bodies, the vast majority of which were related to banking and credit industry fraud. For more information on these data sources, see the ‘Fraud’ section of this bulletin.

Overall level of crime – Other sources of crime statistics

Around 2.1 million incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) were recorded by the police for the year ending June 2014. The number of ASB incidents in the year ending June 2014 decreased by 6% compared with the previous year. However, it should be noted that a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB. As a result, ASB incident data should be interpreted with caution.

In the year ending March 2014 (the latest period for which data are available) there were almost 1.0 million convictions in magistrates’ courts for non-notifiable offences (down 5% from the year ending March 2013), which are not covered in police recorded crime or the CSEW (for example: being drunk and disorderly; speeding). There were 33,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder issued in relation to non-notifiable offences7.

The CSEW does not cover crimes against businesses and police recorded crime can only provide a partial picture (as not all offences come to the attention of the police). The 2012 and 2013 Commercial Victimisation Surveys estimated that there were 7.3 million incidents of crime against businesses 8 in England and Wales in the six sectors covered by the two surveys: (‘manufacturing’ and ‘transportation and storage’ in 2012; ‘wholesale and retail’, ‘accommodation and food’, ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ and ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ in 2013). This estimate is based on crimes experienced by businesses in the 12 months prior to interview and equates to approximately 10 incidents of crime per business premises.

Trends in victim-based crime – CSEW

The CSEW provides coverage of most victim-based crimes, although there are necessary exclusions from its main estimates, such as homicide and sexual offences. For more information on what is and is not included, see this guide to the CSEW.

Levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed a decrease of 23% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year. This follows on from large falls seen in the CSEW between 1995 and 2004/05, with current estimates 66% lower than the peak in 1995. However, this large decrease has resulted from some quarterly estimates, which in the context of the longer term trend, appear anomalous.

CSEW domestic burglary follows a similar pattern to that seen for overall crime, peaking in the mid-1990s survey and then falling steeply until the 2004/05 survey. The underlying trend in domestic burglary remained fairly flat between 2004/05 and 2010/11. Since then estimates have fallen and incidents of domestic burglary for the year ending June 2014 are 12% lower than the previous year, and are 40% lower than those in the 2003/04 survey.

Levels of vehicle-related theft estimated by the CSEW show a 13% fall compared with the previous year, and follow a consistent downward trend since the mid-1990s, explained in-part by improvements in vehicle security. The latest estimates indicate that a vehicle-owning household was around five times less likely to become a victim of vehicle-related theft in the year ending June 2014 survey than in 1995.

There was a 17% decrease in CSEW other household theft in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year. This decrease sees estimated levels of other household theft return to levels similar to that seen in the 2007/08 survey, following a period of year on year increases between 2007/08 and 2011/12. Peak levels of other household theft were recorded in the mid-1990s and the latest estimate is half the level seen in 1995.

The CSEW estimates that there were around 884,000 incidents of other theft of personal property in the survey year ending June 2014. This apparent 9% decrease, compared with the previous survey year, was not statistically significant. The underlying trend has been fairly flat since 2004/05 following marked declines from the mid-1990s; the current estimate is under half the level seen in 1995.

Latest CSEW findings for bicycle theft show falls in the level of incidents in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (9%), but the apparent decrease was not statistically significant. However, this figure must be treated with caution as short term trends in offences with a small number of victims interviewed in any one year are prone to fluctuation. Over the long term, incidents of bicycle theft are now 43% lower than in 1995.

Criminal damage estimated by the CSEW decreased by 20% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, continuing the downward trend seen since 2008/09.

CSEW estimates for robbery and theft from the person were not significantly different from the previous year. However these must be treated with caution and interpreted alongside police recorded crime as short term trends in these CSEW crimes are prone to fluctuation due to a small number of victims interviewed in any one year. Further information on these crimes is provided in the relevant sections of this bulletin.

Table 1: Number of CSEW incidents for year ending June 2014 and percentage change [1]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
Offence group2 Jul-13 to Jun-143 Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Number of incidents (thousands), percentage change and significance4
Violence 1,299 -66 * -41 * -27 * -23 *
  with injury 617 -73 * -49 * -36 * -36 *
  without injury  682 -56 * -32 * -16 -4
Robbery 153 -55 * -43 * -42 * -9
Theft offences 4,250 -63 * -35 * -24 * -12 *
  Theft from the person 518 -24 * -15 -27 -8
  Other theft of personal property 884 -57 * -31 * -17 * -9
Unweighted base - number of adults 34,554                
  Domestic burglary 779 -67 * -40 * -21 * -12 *
    Domestic burglary in a dwelling 569 -67 * -39 * -21 * -12 *
    Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling 211 -68 * -43 * -23 * -10
  Other household theft 789 -50 * -12 * -9 * -17 *
  Vehicle-related theft 905 -79 * -56 * -37 * -13 *
  Bicycle theft 376 -43 * 4 -27 * -9
Criminal damage 1,372 -58 * -43 * -48 * -20 *
Unweighted base - number of households 34,513                
ALL CSEW CRIME 7,075 -63 * -38 * -31 * -16 *

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. For more information about the crime types included in this table, see Section 5 of the User Guide.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.
  4. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  5. More detail on further years can be found in Appendix Table A1.

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Trends in victim-based crime – Police recorded crime

Figure 2 shows selected police recorded crime offences and focuses on those categories with notable changes in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year.

Figure 2: Selected victim-based police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending June 2013 and year ending June 2014

Figure 2: Selected victim-based police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending June 2013 and year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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There was a 1% decrease in victim-based crimes in the year ending June 2014 to 3.1 million offences. To put this volume into context, this is equivalent to 55 recorded offences per 1,000 population (though this should not be read as a victimisation rate as multiple offences could be reported by the same victim) – see Table 3. The fall was a result of decreases across most of the major offence categories, with the exception of violence against the person (up 11%), shoplifting (up 5%) and sexual offences (up 21%). Levels of robbery, theft from the person, and criminal damage and arson all decreased (down 10%, 16% and 5% respectively).

The 11% increase in violence against the person offences recorded by the police is likely to be due to improved compliance with the NCRS. The volume of crimes (666,696 offences) equates to approximately 12 offences recorded per 1,000 population in the year ending June 2014. The increase in total violence against the person offences was driven by the subcategory violence without injury, which showed an increase of 15% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year. The violence with injury subcategory showed a smaller increase of 8% over the same period.

In the year ending June 2014 the police recorded 532 homicides, 11 fewer than in the previous year9. This latest annual count of homicides is at its lowest since 1978 (532 offences). The number of homicides increased from around 300 per year in the early 1960s to over 800 per year in the early years of this century, which was at a faster rate than population growth over that period10. Over the past decade however, the volume of homicides has decreased while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow. However in contrast, the police recorded a rise in the separate category of causing death by dangerous driving (which is included in violence with injury). This rose from 204 offences in the year ending June 2013 to 314 offences in the year ending June 2014 (see Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Offences involving firearms have fallen 6% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, continuing the falls seen since their peak in 2005/06. The number of offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument showed no change over the same period11.

Robberies fell 10% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, from 62,366 offences to 56,165 offences. This is equivalent to around 1 offence recorded per 1,000 population and is the lowest level since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03 (when 110,271 offences were recorded). With the exception of a notable rise in the number of robberies in 2005/06 and 2006/07, there has been a general downward trend in robbery offences since 2002/03. The overall decrease has been driven by falls in most of the large metropolitan force areas, where robbery offences tend to be concentrated (nearly half of all robbery offences were recorded in London alone). Two of the more notable drops in volume-terms over the last year were in the Metropolitan (down 19%) and West Yorkshire (down 10%) police force areas.

Sexual offences recorded by the police increased by 21% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, to a total of 67,805 across England and Wales. Within this, the number of offences of rape increased by 29% and the number of other sexual offences increased by 18%.

Whilst previous quarters showed that the rise in sexual offences was largely driven by a rise in the number of historical offences being recorded by the police, current offences now account for the majority of the increase (73% within the last 12 months).

Total theft offences recorded by the police in the year ending June 2014 showed a 4% decrease compared with the previous year, continuing the year on year decrease seen since 2002/03. The majority of the categories in this offence group (‘Burglary’, ‘Vehicle offences’, ‘Theft from the person’, and ‘All other theft offences’) showed decreases compared with the previous year. The exceptions to this were shoplifting, which increased by 5% compared with the previous year (from 307,660 offences to 321,839) and the number of bicycle theft offences which increased by 1% compared with the previous year (from 96,554 offences to 97,146).

Theft from the person offences recorded by the police in the year ending June 2014 notably showed a 16% decrease compared with the previous year. This is a reversal of recent trends, which showed year-on-year increases between 2008/09 and 2012/13. This decrease is driven by a large drop in offences from December 2013 onwards, thought to be associated with improved mobile phone security features.

Fraud offences

Responsibility for recording fraud offences has transferred from individual police forces to Action Fraud. This transfer occurred between April 2011 and March 2013. In the year ending June 2014, there were 209,631 fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud in England and Wales12. This represents a volume increase of 8% compared with the previous year and an increase of 190% compared with 2008/09. These reported increases over the past 12 months should be seen in the context of the recent move to centralised recording of fraud. During the transition to Action Fraud, level of recorded fraud showed steady increases. It should be noted that, since all forces transferred to Action Fraud (April 2013), the levels of fraud have remained fairly steady (see Table QT1 (220 Kb Excel sheet) ).

In addition, there were 363,092 reports of fraud to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau from industry bodies. For more information, see the ‘Fraud’ section.

CSEW data on plastic card fraud show that, for the year ending June 2014 survey, 5.2% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, with a statistically significant rise from the 4.6% estimated in the year ending June 2013. Before that, there had been small reductions in levels of plastic card fraud over the last few years, following a rise between the 2005/06 and 2008/09 surveys.

Table 2: Number of police recorded crimes for year ending June 2014 and percentage change[1,2,3]

England and Wales

Number of percentage change
Offence group   Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
Jul-13 to Jun-14 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
       
VICTIM-BASED CRIME 3,108,592 -43 -24 -1
Violence against the person offences 666,696 -17 -6 11
     Homicide 532 -41 -20 -2
     Violence with injury4 335,488 -27 -20 8
     Violence without injury5 330,676 -3 15 15
Sexual offences 67,805 12 35 21
     Rape 22,116 67 69 29
     Other sexual offences 45,689 -3 23 18
Robbery offences 56,165 -46 -30 -10
     Robbery of business property 5,770 -43 -38 -5
     Robbery of personal property 50,395 -46 -29 -10
Theft offences 1,817,621 -44 -22 -4
     Burglary 434,851 -47 -25 -4
     Domestic burglary 207,930 -48 -27 -7
     Non-domestic burglary 226,921 -46 -24 -2
     Vehicle offences 365,485 -63 -38 -5
     Theft of a motor vehicle 75,228 -74 -49 -3
     Theft from a vehicle 266,683 -56 -33 -6
     Interfering with a motor vehicle 23,574 -74 -51 7
     Theft from the person 91,812 -33 2 -16
     Bicycle theft 97,146 -8 -7 1
     Shoplifting 321,839 6 0 5
     All other theft offences6 506,488 -44 -20 -5
Criminal damage and arson 500,305 -59 -46 -5
         
 
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 398,866 -5 -26 -1
Drug offences 192,925 34 -21 -7
     Trafficking of drugs 28,871 17 -3 -2
     Possession of drugs 164,054 38 -23 -8
Possession of weapons offences 20,902 -46 -41 5
Public order offences 138,362 -13 -32 6
Miscellaneous crimes against society  46,677 -42 -16 9
         
 
TOTAL FRAUD OFFENCES7 209,631 23 190 8
         
 
TOTAL RECORDED CRIME - ALL OFFENCES INCLUDING FRAUD7 3,717,089 -38 -21 0

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. Includes attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking and less serious wounding offences.
  5. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).
  6. All other theft offences now includes all 'making off without payment' offences recorded since 2002/03. Making off without payment was previously included within the fraud offence group, but following a change in the classification for 2013/14, this change has been applied to previous years of data to give a consistent time series.
  7. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. The process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013.  Due to this change, caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years. New offences were introduced under the Fraud Act 2006, which came into force on 15 January 2007.
  8. More detail on further years can be found in Appendix Table A4.

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Table 3: Total police recorded crime – rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Rate per 1,000 population        
Total recorded crime - all offences including fraud 114 86 66 65
     Victim-based crime5 103 75 55 55
     Other crimes against society 8 10 7 7
     Total fraud offences 3 1 3 4

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5. Victim-based crime now includes all 'making off without payment' offences recorded since 2002/03. Making off without payment was previously included within the fraud offence group, but following a change in the classification for 2013/14, this change has been applied to previous years of data to give a consistent time series.

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Notes for Summary

  1. See ‘Trends in Crime – A short story 2011/12’.

  2. The survey of children aged 10 to 15 only covers personal level crime (so excludes household level crime); the majority (over 70%) of violent crimes experienced in the year ending June 2014 resulted in minor or no injury, so in most cases the violence is low level.

  3. Police recorded crimes are notifiable offences which are all crimes that could possibly be tried by a jury (these include some less serious offences, such as minor theft that would not usually be dealt with in this way) plus a few additional closely related offences, such as assault without injury.

  4. See the ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime trends’ methodological note and Section 4.2 of the User Guide for more details.

  5. Victim-based crimes are those offences with a specific identifiable victim. These cover the police recorded crime categories of violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, theft offences, and criminal damage and arson.

  6. ‘Other crimes against society’ cover offences without a direct victim, and includes drug offences, possession of weapon offences, public order offences and miscellaneous crimes against society.

  7. Non-notifiable offences are offences dealt with exclusively by a magistrates court or by the police issuing of a Penalty Notice for Disorder or a Fixed Penalty Notice. Along with non-notifiable offences dealt with by the police (such as speeding), these include many offences that may be dealt with by other agencies – for example: prosecutions by TV Licensing; or by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for vehicle registration offences.

  8. This is a premises based survey in which respondents were asked if the business at their current premises had experienced any of a range of crime types in the 12 months prior to interview and, if so, how many incidents of crime had been experienced.

  9. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide. Figures from the Homicide Index for the time period April 2012 to March 2013, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes, were published in the ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’ release on 13 February 2014.

  10. Figures from the Homicide Index are less likely to be affected by changes to police recording practice made in 1998 and 2002 so it is possible to examine longer-term trends.

  11. Only selected violent offences can be broken down by whether a knife or sharp instrument was used. These are: homicide; attempted murder; threats to kill; assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm; robbery; rape; and sexual assault.

  12. Action Fraud had taken over the recording of all fraud offences from police forces by the end of 2012/13, but showed a -36 count of fraud offences in the year ending June 2014. This is a consequence of the transition process, and these cases have subsequently been removed from the police recorded data and transferred to Action Fraud.

Violent crime

Violent crime in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is referred to as “Violence”, and includes wounding and assault. There are additional breakdowns for violence with and without injury, as well as on the offender-victim relationship. Violent crime in police recorded data is referred to as “Violence against the person” and includes homicide, violence with injury, and violence without injury. Violent offences that have no identifiable victim are classified as other offences, such as public disorder. The underlying trend from the survey clearly indicates that violent crime is falling (Figure 3). However, the large fall (23%) for the year ending June 2014 has resulted from some quarterly estimates, which in the context of the longer term trend, appear anomalous. Short-term trends in CSEW estimates, being based on a sample, can be subject to such fluctuation and it is possible that the rate of reduction will be smaller in subsequent releases.

Figure 3: Numbers of violent crimes, year ending June 2012 to year ending June 2014, by quarter of interview

Figure 3: Numbers of violent crimes, year ending June 2012 to year ending June 2014, by quarter of interview

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics

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Latest CSEW estimates show there were 1.3 million violent incidents in England and Wales, which is the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 1981 (Figure 4). Violent incidents constitute 18% of all CSEW crime in the latest survey, making them a driver of overall CSEW trends.

With regard to the latest estimate, the number of violent incidents has decreased 66% from the peak of violent crime in 1995 (Table 4b). To put these figures in context, around 2 in every 100 adults were a victim of violent crime in the last year based on the year ending June 2014 survey, compared with around 5 in 100 adults in the 1995 survey (Table 4a). However, it is important to note that victimisation rates vary considerably across the population and by geographic area. Such variations in victimisation rates are further explored in ONS thematic reports, which are published annually1.

The longer term reduction in violent crime as shown by the CSEW is supported by evidence from several health data sources, for example, research conducted by the Violence and Society Research Group at Cardiff University (Sivarajasingam et al., 2014). Findings from their annual survey, covering a sample of hospital emergency departments and walk-in centres in England and Wales, showed an overall decrease of 12% in serious violence-related attendances in 2013 compared with 2012. In addition, the most recent provisional National Health Service (NHS) data on assault admissions to hospitals in England show that for the 12 months to the end of March 2014 there were 31,243 hospital admissions for assault, a reduction of 5% compared with figures for the preceding 12 months2.

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) from 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (July to June).

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The CSEW violence offences can be broken down further into ‘Violence with injury’ and ‘Violence without injury’. The subcategory of violence with injury shows a substantial decrease of 36% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year, driving the overall decrease in all violence.  It is the lowest estimate since the survey began. Violence without injury showed no change, as the apparent decrease of 4% was not statistically significant.

Table 4a: CSEW violence - number, rate and percentage of incidents[1,2]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-133 Jul-13 to Jun-143
Number of incidents Thousands    
Violence 3,837 2,213 1,774 1,679 1,299
       with injury 2,270 1,204 959 970 617
       without injury 1,567 1,009 815 709 682
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults
Violence 94 53 41 37 29
       with injury 56 29 22 22 14
       without injury 39 24 19 16 15
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage
Violence 4.8 3.4 2.7 2.2 1.7
       with injury 3.0 2.0 1.5 1.3 0.9
       without injury 2.1 1.6 1.3 1.0 0.9
Unweighted base - number of adults 16,337 37,891 46,220 35,303 34,554

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 4b: CSEW violence - percentage change and statistical significance[1,2]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance3    
Violence -66 * -41 * -27 * -23 *
       with injury -73 * -49 * -36 * -36 *
       without injury -56 * -32 * -16   -4  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults
Violence -70 * -46 * -30 * -23 *
       with injury -76 * -53 * -39 * -37 *
       without injury -61 * -38 * -20   -5  
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance3.4  
Violence -3.0 * -1.6 * -1.0 * -0.5 *
       with injury -2.1 * -1.1 * -0.7 * -0.4 *
       without injury -1.2 * -0.6 * -0.3 * 0.0  

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  4. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

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Estimates of violence against 10 to 15 year olds as measured by the CSEW can be found in the section ‘Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’.

The overall level of violence against the person recorded by the police in the year ending June 2014 showed an 11% increase compared with the previous year (Tables 5a and 5b). This latest rise in violence against the person recorded by the police is in contrast to the falls shown by the Crime Survey and figures on attendances at Accident and Emergency departments due to violent assaults, cited previously. Possible explanations for this rise include:

  • It is known that violent offences are more prone to subjective judgement about whether to record. Therefore, action taken by police forces to generally improve their compliance with the NCRS given the renewed focus on the accuracy of crime recording by the police3, which is likely to have resulted in an increase in the number of offences recorded.

  • An increase in the reporting of domestic abuse and subsequent recording of these offences by the police. A recent HMIC inspection expressed concerns about the police response to domestic abuse but noted the majority of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) were now showing a strong commitment to tackling it. The report noted just under half of PCCs had made a commitment to increase the reporting of this type of offence. It is thought that this renewed focus may have led to more victims coming forward and allegations treated more sensitively.

Compared with 2008/09, the volume of violence against the person offences has fallen by 6%. The rates for violence against the person have dropped from 13 recorded offences per 1,000 population in 2008/09 to 12 recorded offences per 1,000 population in the year ending June 2014 (Table 5a).

In contrast to other violent crime, it is thought that homicides are well recorded by the police. In the year ending June 2014 the police recorded 532 homicides, 11 fewer homicides than in the previous year (Table 5a)4. This latest annual count of homicides is at its lowest since 1978 (532 offences). Historically, the number of homicides increased from around 300 per year in the early 1960s to over 800 per year in the early years of this century5, and this had increased at a faster rate than population growth. Since then however, the number of homicides recorded each year has continued to fall to the current level, while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow. In 2003/04, there were 17 homicides per million population6. The latest data show homicide rates have reduced considerably since then by almost half, with 9 homicides per million population recorded during the year to June 2014.

As with homicide, the other two categories of police recorded offences for violence against the person have also declined over the past decade. However, in the latest data ‘Violence with injury’ showed an 8% rise compared with the previous year and ‘Violence without injury’ increased by 15% over the same period. Within violence with injury, the police recorded a rise in the category of causing death by dangerous driving. This rose from 204 in the year ending June 2013 to 314 offences in the current year. For more detailed information on trends and the circumstances of violence against the person, see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.

Harassment is included within the violence against the person category, which previously incorporated stalking offences. From 1st April 2014, stalking was separated into its own crime classification (still within violence against the person) following the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 section 111. In the year ending June 2014 the police recorded 695 stalking offences. As this newly separated stalking offence only contains one quarter’s worth of data (offences between 1st April and 30th June) we will see rises in the number of offences as more quarters are included. It will only be possible to start to make year on year comparisons when we have a full year’s worth of data. Because these offences would have previously been recorded in the harassment category, trends in harassment offences over time should also be treated with caution.

Table 5a: Police recorded violence against the person - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Violence against the person offences 799,247 709,008 598,077 666,696
     Homicide5 904 664 543 532
     Violence against the person - with injury6 457,731 420,643 309,600 335,488
     Violence against the person - without injury7 340,612 287,701 287,934 330,676
Violence against the person rate per 1,000 population 15 13 11 12

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office,
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5. Includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.
  6. Includes attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking, assault with injury, assault with intent to cause serious harm and less serious wounding offences.
  7. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).

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Table 5b: Police recorded violence against the person - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Violence against the person offences -17 -6 11
     Homicide5 -41 -20 -2
     Violence against the person - with injury6 -27 -20 8
     Violence against the person - without injury7 -3 15 15

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5. Includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.
  6. Includes attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking, assault with injury, assault with intent to cause serious harm and less serious wounding offences.
  7. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).

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Notes for Violent crime

  1. For more information on violent crime see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.

  2. Based on the latest National Health Service (NHS) Hospital Episode Statistics and hospital admissions due to assault (dated 15 July 2014). These do not include figures for Wales and relate to activity in English NHS hospitals.

  3. An interim report has been published by HMIC on inspections carried out on 13 of the 43 forces (including the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police).

  4. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.

  5. Figures from the Homicide Index are less likely to be affected by changes to in police recording practice made in 1998 and 2002 so it is possible to examine longer-term trends.

  6. While most rates of recorded crime are given per 1,000 population, due to the relatively low number of offences recorded, and to aid interpretation, homicide rates are given per million population.

Robbery

Robbery is an offence in which force or the threat of force is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft. The number of robberies recorded by the police provides a more robust indication of trends than the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), although not all robberies will be reported to the police.

Robbery is a relatively low volume offence accounting for less than 2% of all police recorded crime in the year ending June 2014. These offences are concentrated in a small number of metropolitan forces with nearly half (47%) of all offences recorded in London, and a further 19% in the Greater Manchester, West Midlands and West Yorkshire police force areas combined (Table P1) (155 Kb Excel sheet) .

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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The latest figures show police recorded robberies decreased by 10% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (Tables 6a and 6b). With the exception of a notable rise in the number of robberies in 2005/06 and 2006/07 there has been a general downward trend since 2002/03 in England and Wales. The latest figure shows the number of robbery offences falling to 56,165, the lowest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03 (Figure 5).

In the year ending June 2014, 90% of robberies recorded by the police were of personal property. The police recorded 50,395 of these offences, down 10% compared with the previous year. Robbery of business property (which makes up the remaining 10% of total robbery offences) fell by 5% compared with the previous year continuing the recent downward trend. In the year ending June 2014, around one in five robberies (21%) recorded by the police involved a knife or other sharp instrument, a similar level as recorded in the previous year (20%) (Table 9).

Table 6a: Police recorded robbery - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Robbery offences 103,736 80,130 62,366 56,165
     Robbery of business property 10,110 9,350 6,074 5,770
     Robbery of personal property 93,626 70,780 56,292 50,395
Robbery rate per 1,000 population 2 1 1 1

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Table 6b: Police recorded robbery - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
  Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Robbery offences -46 -30 -10
     Robbery of business property -43 -38 -5
     Robbery of personal property -46 -29 -10

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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The geographic concentration of robbery offences means that trends across England and Wales tend to reflect what is happening in a small number of metropolitan areas where robbery offences are concentrated, in particular the Metropolitan Police force area. The latest figures for the Metropolitan Police force area show that the number of robberies for the year ending June 2014 was 26,519, a decrease of 19% from the previous year ( Tables P1-P3 (155 Kb Excel sheet) ). This continues the downward trend identified in the year ending March 2013 (11% fall), despite increases in the two preceding years. Falls in robbery offences were also seen in other large metropolitan police force areas ( Table P2 (155 Kb Excel sheet) ), most notably West Yorkshire (down by 10% to 1,769 offences), as well as a smaller fall in the West Midlands (down by 3% to 5,191 offences).

The small number of robbery victims interviewed in any one year means that CSEW estimates are prone to fluctuation. Latest findings show the level of incidents in the year ending June 2014 survey to be 9% lower compared with the previous year (although this finding is not statistically significant) and less than half (55% lower) that of the level seen in the 1995 crime peak (Tables 7a and 7b).

Table 7a: CSEW robbery - number, rate and percentage of incidents[1,2,3]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-134 Jul-13 to Jun-144
  Thousands        
Number of robbery incidents 339 271 262 168 153
Robbery incidence rate per 1,000 adults 8 7 6 4 3
  Percentage      
Percentage of adults that were victims of robbery once or more 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.3
Unweighted base - number of adults 16,337 37,891 46,220 35,303 34,554

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Figures are based on analysis of a small number of victims and should be interpreted with caution.
  4. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 7b: CSEW robbery - percentage change and statistical significance[1,2,3]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
  Percentage change and significance4      
Number of robbery incidents -55 * -43 * -42 * -9  
Robbery incidence rate per 1,000 adults -59 * -48 * -44 * -10
  Percentage point change and significance4,5    
Percentage of adults that were victims of robbery once or more -0.4 * -0.3 * -0.2 * 0.0  

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Figures are based on analysis of a small number of victims and should be interpreted with caution.
  4. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  5. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

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Sexual offences

It is difficult to obtain reliable information on the volume of sexual offences as it is known that a high proportion of offences are not reported to the police and changes in recorded figures may reflect changes in reporting or recording rates rather than actual victimisation. For these reasons, caution should be used when interpreting trends in these offences (for more information see ‘An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales’ or ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’).

Police recorded crime figures showed an increase of 21% in all sexual offences for the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (up from 55,915 to 67,805; Table 8a). This is the highest level recorded since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in April 2002. Increases in offences against both adults and children have contributed to this rise. The largest increases were experienced in Durham (up by 185%; Table P2 (155 Kb Excel sheet) )1 and South Yorkshire (up by 80%; Table P2 (155 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Police recorded rape increased by 29% (to 22,116 offences) compared with the previous year following previous increases over the past five years, and is now also at the highest level since the NCRS was introduced in 2002/03; other sexual offences increased by 18% (45,689 offences). The latest rises in total sexual offences, rape and other sexual offences are the largest year on year increases since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03.

There are likely to be two main of factors in the rise in police recorded rape and sexual offences; an increase in the willingness of victims to come forward and report these crimes to the police, and an improvement in crime recording by the police for these offences.

The increase in people coming forward to report sexual offences is likely to be due to a wider ‘Operation Yewtree’ effect, where victims of sexual offences that are not directly connected to Yewtree are now reporting these offences to the police. Further insight into the wider ‘Yewtree effect’ can be provided by looking at the Home Office Data Hub, a record level dataset of police recorded offences2. Previous releases have shown historical offences were the largest contributor to the increase in sexual offences. However, historical offences are now making less of a contribution to the overall rise whilst the contribution made by recent or ‘current’ offences has increased3. The forces for which data are available show that the majority of the increase in sexual offences occurred within the previous 12 months (73%).

The increase in sexual offences is also likely to be due to improvements in police recording of sexual offences. There are a number of factors why the police have recently improved their recording of these offences:

  • Investigation by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)4 in 2012, which highlighted the need to improve the recording and investigation of sexual offences; and

  • There have been recent concerns about the recording of sexual offences, for example in evidence presented to the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry5 and arising from other high profile cases. This is likely to have resulted in police forces reviewing and improving their recording processes.

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, introduced in May 2004, altered the definition and coverage of sexual offences.

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Table 8a: Police recorded sexual offences - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Sexual offences 60,412 50,185 55,915 67,805
     Rape 13,272 13,096 17,096 22,116
     Other sexual offences 47,140 37,089 38,819 45,689
Sexual offences rate per 1,000 population 1 1 1 1

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4.  For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Table 8b: Police recorded sexual offences - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Sexual offences 12 35 21
     Rape 67 69 29
     Other sexual offences -3 23 18

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Crime Survey for England and Wales

Due to the small number of sexual offences identified in the main Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) crime count, estimates of the volume of incidents are too unreliable to report. Since 2004/05, the CSEW has included a self-completion questionnaire module on intimate violence which does provide a measure of the proportion of people who have been victims of sexual offences and supplements the information presented here6. Detailed findings from this module for 2012/13 are available in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’, with analysis for 2013/14 due to be published in February 2015.

Notes for Sexual offences

  1. This rise is acknowledged to be due to the recording of large numbers of historical offences, particularly in relation to the Medomsley Detention Centre. It is believed over 200 inmates were physically or sexually abused during their time at the detention centre, between the late 1960s and mid-1980s. See Durham Constabulary for further information.

  2. The Data Hub includes additional information provided by police forces, such as when an offence took place, as well as when it was recorded by the police.

  3. Based on analysis of just over half of the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales.

  4. See HMIC and HMCPSI, 2012 for further information.

  5. See the Commission of an independent review into rape investigation and the transcript for the Public Administration Select Committee hearing on Crime Statistics, 19 November 2013.

  6. See Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding intimate violence.

Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

Some of the more serious types of offence in the recorded crime data (violent, robbery and sexual offences) can be broken down by whether or not a knife or sharp instrument was involved1,2.

In the year ending June 2014, the police recorded 26,007 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a similar number compared with the previous year (26,111, Table 9). Analysis of selected individual offence groups shows that increases in most offence groups, in particular assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm (up 7%), are being offset by a reduction in the high volume offence group of robbery (down 10% compared with the previous year3).

Table 9: Number and proportion of selected violent and sexual offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded by the police [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Numbers and percentages[5]
Selected offence type   Number of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument   % change year ending June 2013 to year ending June 2014   Proportion of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument
  Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14     Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
                 
Attempted murder                 200               261   31   46 50
Threats to kill              1,220            1,432   17   16 15
Assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm6            11,441          12,194   7   4 4
Robbery            12,766          11,520   -10   20 21
Rape                 199               294   48   1 1
Sexual assault7                  91               111   22   0 0
                 
Total selected offences                25,917              25,812   0   6 6
                 
Homicide8                 194               195   1   35 39
                 
Total selected offences including homicide                26,111              26,007   0   6 6

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. Police recorded knife and sharp instrument offences data are submitted via an additional special collection. Proportions of offences involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument presented in this table are calculated based on figures submitted in this special collection. Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument.
  5. Surrey police force includes unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection however it is not thought that offences of this kind constitute a large enough number to impact on the national figure.
  6. Changes to offence codes in April 2012 mean the category of assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm is not directly comparable with previous years. See Appendix table A4 for more details.
  7. Sexual assault includes indecent assault on a male/female and sexual assault on a male/female (all ages).
  8. Homicide offences are those currently recorded by the police as at 1st September 2014 and are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available. They include the offences of murder, manslaughter, infanticide and, as of 2012/13, corporate manslaughter. These figures are taken from the detailed record level Homicide Index (rather than the main police collection for which forces are only required to provide an overall count of homicides, used in Table A4). There may therefore be differences in the total homicides figure used to calculate these proportions and the homicide figure presented in Table A4.

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The number of rape offences involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police increased by 48%, from 199 offences to 294. The number of sexual assaults involving a knife or sharp instrument increased from 91 to 111 in the year ending June 2014 when compared with the previous year (an increase of 22%). However, in statistical terms, the relatively low number of rapes and sexual assaults that involve the use of a knife or sharp instrument means percentage changes should be interpreted with caution. It is also possible that the rise may reflect the broader rise in sexual offences (see section on ‘Sexual Offences’).

Of the selected violent offences covered in Table 9, around 6% involved a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending June 2014; this was the same proportion as that seen in the previous year. Over a third of homicides (39%) and half of attempted murders (50%) involved a knife or sharp instrument, similar to twelve months ago (35% and 46% respectively).

Further analysis on offences involving knives and sharp instruments recorded in 2012/13 has been published in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’, with analysis for 2013/14 due to be published in February 2015.

An additional source of information about incidents involving knives and sharp instruments is provided by provisional National Health Service (NHS) hospital admission statistics4. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument peaked at 5,720 in 2006/07. Admissions have declined since that year, and in the year ending March 2014 there were 3,654 admissions, a 5% decrease on the previous year. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument in 2013/14 were the lowest since 2002/035.

Notes for Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

  1. A sharp instrument is any object that pierces the skin (or in the case of a threat, is capable of piercing the skin), for example a broken bottle.

  2. Until April 2010, West Midlands Police force included unbroken bottle and glass offences in their statistics, but now exclude these offences in line with other forces.

  3. Changes to offence codes in April 2012 mean the individual categories of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm are not directly comparable over the time period. However, these changes are not expected to affect the totals of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. See Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) for more details.

  4. It should be noted that while it is a requirement to record every hospital admission, completing the field for external cause is not always done. They also do not include any figures from Wales.

  5. Based on the latest National Health Service (NHS) Hospital Episode Statistics and hospital admissions due to assault (dated 15 July 2014). These do not include figures for Wales and relate to activity in English NHS hospitals. A graph based on financial years is available in the latest ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’ release.

Offences involving firearms

Similar to the breakdown of offences involving knives or sharp instruments, statistics for the year ending June 2014 are available for police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons. Firearms are taken to be involved in an offence if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person, or used as a threat. For detailed information on trends and the circumstances of offences involving firearms recorded in 2012/13 see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’, with analysis for 2013/14 due to be published in February 2015.

Figures for the year ending June 2014 show 4,874 offences involving firearms were recorded in England and Wales, a 6% decrease compared with the previous year (5,171, Tables 10a and 10b).

Figure 7 shows the trend from 2002/03 and demonstrates that since 2005/06 there has been a substantial decrease in the number of offences involving firearms recorded by the police. The volume of such offences has fallen by 41% since 2008/09 (Table 10b). This reduction in offences involving firearms is, in percentage terms, a larger reduction than that seen in overall violent crime.

Figure 7: Trends in police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 7: Trends in police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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Table 10a: Police recorded offences involving firearms - number of offences [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  
 
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Firearm offences 10,338 8,199 5,171 4,874

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 43 forces in England and Wales (excluding the British Transport Police).
  4. Firearms data are provisional. Excludes offences involving the use of air weapons and offences recorded by British Transport Police. Includes crimes recorded by police where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

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Table 10b: Police recorded offences involving firearms - percentage change [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change  
      Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jul-13
Firearm offences -53 -41 -6

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 43 forces in England and Wales (excluding the British Transport Police).

  4. Firearms data are provisional. Excludes offences involving the use of air weapons and offences recorded by British Transport Police. Includes crimes recorded by police where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

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Theft offences

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime both measure various theft offences. Both series cover the headline categories of domestic burglary, vehicle-related theft, theft from the person, and bicycle theft. Theft of property from outside people’s homes (for example, garden furniture and tools) and theft of unattended property as measured by the CSEW are incorporated within the police recorded crime category ‘Other theft’. Additionally, shoplifting offences, which are not included in the CSEW, are recorded by the police1.

There are substantial overlaps between theft offences in the two data series; however, the CSEW shows a larger volume as it includes incidents not reported to the police. Police recorded theft is broader, covering a wider variety of offences and victims; for example, police recorded theft includes theft against commercial victims and offences of handling stolen goods whereas the survey does not. Theft offences recorded by the police and the CSEW do not include robbery as these are presented as a separate offence (see the ‘Robbery’ section).

Incidents of theft experienced by 10 to 15 year olds can be found in the ‘Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’ section of this bulletin.

Total theft offences (acquisitive crime) accounted for 60% of all incidents estimated by the CSEW (an estimated 4.3 million incidents) and almost half (49%) of all police recorded crime (1.8 million offences) in the year ending June 2014.

The long-term trend in CSEW theft reflects the long-term trend in total CSEW crime. Latest estimates point to a further decline, with total theft offences decreasing by 12% from the previous year (from 4.8 million to 4.3 million incidents, which is the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 1981) ( Appendix table A1 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Since 2002/03, the number of police recorded theft offences has shown year on year decreases and is 44% lower in the year ending June 2014 than in 2003/04 (Figure 8). The latest figures show a 4% decrease compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). As theft offences make up almost half of all police recorded crime, it is an important driver of the overall trend. However, this decrease has been offset by increases in other offences which has resulted in no change in overall police recorded crime compared with the previous year.

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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Further analysis on theft offences, based on the 2012/13 CSEW, was published on 28 November 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’. More detail of possible hypotheses for the fall in property crimes can be found in ‘Trends in Crime: a Short Story, 2011/12’ published on 19 July 2012. Analysis of the 2013/14 CSEW will be published in ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2013/14’ on 27 November 2014.

The next few sections discuss the different types of theft offences in more detail; burglary, vehicle-related thefts and other theft of property.

Notes for Theft offences

  1. For more information see Section 5.2 of the User Guide.

Theft offences – Burglary

The CSEW for the year ending June 2014 estimated 779,000 incidents of domestic burglary, a decrease of 12% from the previous year (882,000, Tables 11a and 11b). CSEW domestic burglary follows a similar pattern to that seen for overall crime, and despite some fluctuations the trend has remained fairly flat between 2004/05 and 2011/12 (Figure 9). Estimates for the year ending June 2014 are the lowest since the survey began and are 67% lower than those in the 1995 survey.

Figure 9: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 9: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) from 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (July to June).

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The reduction is reflected in the percentage of households that had been victims of domestic burglary in the last year, with around 3 in 100 households being victims in the year ending June 2014 survey compared with around 9 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Therefore, households are now around three times less likely to be a victim of burglary than in 1995 (Tables 11a and 11b).

The sub-categories of CSEW ‘Domestic burglary in a dwelling’ and ‘Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling’ follow similar patterns to that of domestic burglary overall.

Table 11a: CSEW burglary - number, rate and percentage of incidents [1,2]

England and Wales

Households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-133 Jul-13 to Jun-143
Number of incidents Thousands    
Domestic burglary 2,389 1,307 991 882 779
Domestic burglary in a dwelling 1,735 935 717 648 569
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling 654 372 275 234 211
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults
Domestic burglary 115 59 43 37 33
Domestic burglary in a dwelling 84 42 31 27 24
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling 31 17 12 10 9
Percentage of households that were victims once or more Percentage
Domestic burglary 8.7 4.5 3.4 2.9 2.7
Domestic burglary in a dwelling 6.4 3.2 2.5 2.2 2.0
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling 2.6 1.4 1.0 0.8 0.7
Unweighted base - number of households 16,310 37,890 46,254 35,267 34,513

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 11b: CSEW burglary - percentage change and statistical significance [1,2]

England and Wales

Households
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance3  
Domestic burglary -67 * -40 * -21 * -12 *
Domestic burglary in a dwelling -67 * -39 * -21 * -12 *
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling -68 * -43 * -23 * -10  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults  
Domestic burglary -72 * -45 * -25 * -13 *
Domestic burglary in a dwelling -72 * -44 * -24 * -13 *
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling -72 * -48 * -27 * -11  
Percentage of households that were victims once or more Percentage change and significance3,4
Domestic burglary -6.0 * -1.8 * -0.7 * -0.2
Domestic burglary in a dwelling -4.4 * -1.3 * -0.5 * -0.2
Domestic burglary in a non-connected building to a dwelling -1.9 * -0.6 * -0.2 * -0.1  

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  4. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

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The police recorded crime statistics measure both domestic burglaries (for example those against inhabited dwellings) and non-domestic burglaries (for example, those against businesses)1. When compared with the previous year, domestic burglary decreased by 7% (from 223,901 to 207,930 offences) while non-domestic burglary decreased by 2% (from 231,012 to 226,921 offences) in the year ending June 2014 (Tables 12a and 12b). The latest level of burglary recorded by the police is around half the level recorded in 2003/04 (47% lower).

Table 12a: Police recorded burglary - number and rate of offences [1,2,3,4]

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Burglary offences 820,013 581,584 454,913 434,851
     Domestic burglary 402,345 284,431 223,901 207,930
     Non-domestic burglary 417,668 297,153 231,012 226,921
Burglary rate per 1,000 population 16 11 8 8

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3.  Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4.  For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Table 12b: Police recorded burglary - percentage change [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Burglary offences -47 -25 -4
     Domestic burglary -48 -27 -7
     Non-domestic burglary -46 -24 -2

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Notes for Theft offences – Burglary

  1. Non-domestic burglary covers burglary in a building other than a dwelling, and includes burglaries of sheds and outhouses which do not have an entrance to a home. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

Theft offences – Vehicle

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) covers offences against vehicles owned by any member of the household interviewed (including company cars). Estimates of CSEW vehicle-related theft for the year ending June 2014 fell by 13% compared with the previous year (Table 13a and 13b)1.

Over the longer term, the CSEW indicates a consistent downward trend in levels of vehicle-related theft, with the latest estimates being 79% lower than in 1995. As shown in Figure 10, the rate of reduction in vehicle offences since the mid-1990s has been striking, and as previously reported, a widely accepted theory is that this is in-part due to improvements in vehicle security2. The latest estimates indicate that a vehicle-owning household was around five times less likely to become a victim of vehicle-related theft in the year ending June 2014 survey than in 1995, with around 4 in 100 vehicle-owning households being victims in the year ending June 2014 survey compared with around 20 in 100 households in the 1995 survey (Table 13a). There were an estimated 905,000 vehicle-related thefts in the year ending June 2014, which is the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 1981.

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. Prior to 2001/02, CSEW respondents were asked about their experience of crime in the previous calendar year, so year-labels identify the year in which the crime took place. Following the change to continuous interviewing, respondents' experience of crime relates to the full 12 months prior to interview (i.e. a moving reference period). Year-labels 2001/02 onwards identify the CSEW year of interview.
  3. The number of incidents are derived by multiplying incidence rates by the population estimates for England and Wales.

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Table 13a: CSEW vehicle offences - number, rate and percentage of incidents [1,2]

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-133 Jul-13 to Jun-143
Thousands    
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents 4,266 2,063 1,447 1,043 905
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households 140 123 80 57 49
Percentage    
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more 19.7 9.6 6.4 4.7 4.1
Unweighted base - vehicle owners 11,721 29,457 36,882 27,781 27,125

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 13b: CSEW vehicle offences - percentage change and statistical significance [1,2]

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Percentage change and significance3  
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents -79 * -56 * -37 * -13 *
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households -82 * -60 * -39 * -13 *
Percentage point change and significance3,4  
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more -15.6 * -5.5 * -2.3 * -0.5 *

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  4. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

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The police recorded crime category of vehicle offences covers both private and commercial vehicles and shows a fall of 5% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (Tables 14a and 14b). This follows substantial decreases in this offence group, with a fall of 63% compared with 2003/04, similar to the trend found in the CSEW. The most recent data show that two of the three categories of police recorded vehicle offences have continued to fall, including theft of a motor vehicle, which fell by 3% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (Table 14b).

The reductions in vehicle-related theft indicated by the CSEW and police recorded crime are in contrast to the number of motor vehicles licensed in Great Britain, which has increased by 38%, from 25.4 million at the end of 1995 to 35.0 million at the end of 2013 (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2013)3.

Table 14a: Police recorded vehicle offences - number and rate of offences [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Vehicle offences5 985,006 591,853 383,656 365,485
     Theft of a motor vehicle 291,858 147,238 77,531 75,228
     Theft from a vehicle 603,256 396,976 284,178 266,683
     Vehicle interference 89,892 47,639 21,947 23,574
Vehicle offences rate per 1,000 population  19 11 7 6

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2.  Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5.  Includes theft of motor vehicle, theft from a vehicle, aggravated vehicle taking and interfering with a motor vehicle.

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Table 14b: Police recorded vehicle offences - percentage change [1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Vehicle offences5 -63 -38 -5
     Theft of a motor vehicle -74 -49 -3
     Theft from a vehicle -56 -33 -6
     Vehicle interference -74 -51 7

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5.  Includes theft of motor vehicle, theft from a vehicle, aggravated vehicle taking and interfering with a motor vehicle.

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Notes for Theft offences – Vehicle

  1. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

  2. See ‘Trends in Crime: a Short Story, 2011/12’.

  3. Based on the total number of licensed vehicles (including both private and commercial vehicles) in England, Scotland and Wales taken from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) database.

Theft offences – Other theft of property

In addition to burglary and vehicle-related thefts, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime both measure other theft of property, although they cover slightly different offences. In the CSEW this comprises: theft from the person; other theft of personal property; bicycle theft; and other household theft. In police recorded crime there are categories for: theft from the person; bicycle theft; shoplifting; and all other theft offences. There are further offence breakdowns available for all other theft offences listed in Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Theft from the person – CSEW and police recorded crime

Theft from the person involves offences where there is theft of property, while the property is being carried by, or on the person of, the victim. These include snatch thefts (where an element of force may be used to snatch the property away) and stealth thefts (where the victim is unaware of the offence being committed, for example, pick-pocketing). Unlike robbery, these offences do not involve violence or threats to the victim.

In the CSEW, the majority of incidents of theft from the person are made up of stealth thefts (279,000 out of all 518,000 (54%) theft from the person offences in the year ending June 2014, for more information see Appendix table A1 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Numbers of snatch thefts are much smaller, accounting for 12% of total thefts from the person, while attempted snatch and stealth thefts make up the remaining 34%.

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in theft from the person based on interviews in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (the apparent 8% decrease was not statistically significant; Tables 15a and 15b). Estimates of the volume of theft from the person offences are low and subject to fluctuations from year to year in the survey. The CSEW shows an unusually high estimate measured by the 2008/09 survey when there was a significant increase, followed by a significant decrease in 2009/10 (Figure 11). Other than this, CSEW estimates of theft from the person have remained fairly flat.

The police recorded crime category theft from the person accounts for around 2% of overall police recorded crime. Latest figures showed a 16% decrease in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). This is in contrast to recent trends, where these offences have been increasing in each of the last three years. The latest decrease is driven by a large decrease in theft from the person offences in the third and fourth quarters – January 2014 to June 2014. This may in part be explained by improvements to mobile security and theft prevention1.

Further analysis of theft from the person figures by police force area shows a mixed picture, with some forces continuing to show increases while most show decreases. However, as with robbery, theft from the person offences are concentrated in the metropolitan areas, with 42% occurring in the Metropolitan Police force area alone. The previous overall increases were largely driven by what was happening in London, where theft of smartphones and other portable devices were thought to be behind some of this rise2. The latest figures for the Metropolitan Police force area show a decrease of 21% compared with the previous year ( Tables P1-P3 (155 Kb Excel sheet) ). In addition, the British Transport Police, who cover crimes that occur on railways and on railway platforms and stations, account for 7% of the total thefts from the person offences in the year ending June 2014, and show a 32% decrease compared with the previous year.

Other household theft – CSEW

This offence group consists of items stolen from outside the victim’s home, and thefts in the victim’s dwelling by someone entitled to be there, for example a workman3. Overall, the year ending June 2014 survey estimated that there were 789,000 incidents of other household theft (Tables 15a and 15b), making up 11% of all CSEW crime.

The CSEW showed a 17% fall in other household theft based on interviews in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year. This statistically significant decrease sees estimated levels of other household theft at similar levels to those seen in the 2007/08 survey following a period of year on year increases between 2007/08 and 2011/12. The current decrease, combined with decreases seen between 1995 and 2007/08, means that the latest figure is now 50% lower than in the 1995 survey (Figure 11).

The large majority of other household thefts are accounted for by theft from outside a dwelling (91%). Generally these incidents involve theft of garden furniture or household items/furniture taken from outside people’s homes4, and are largely opportunistic in nature. Theft from a dwelling has seen a much greater fall, compared with the previous year, than theft from outside a dwelling (36% and 15% respectively). The latest estimate for theft from a dwelling is 70% lower than the 1995 survey estimate ( Appendix table A1 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW other household theft and theft from the person, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW other household theft and theft from the person, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) from 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (July to June).

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Other theft of personal property – CSEW

Other theft of personal property offences are those which involve items stolen from victims while away from the home but not being carried on the person (such as theft of unattended property in pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues or workplaces). The CSEW estimates that there were around 884,000 incidents of other theft of personal property in the survey year ending June 2014. The apparent 9% decrease compared with the previous survey year was not statistically significant (Table 15b). The underlying trend has been fairly flat in recent years – since 2004/05 estimates have fluctuated slightly but generally stayed around 1.0 million offences. Looking at the longer term trend, other theft of personal property saw marked declines from the mid-1990s and the current estimate is over half the level seen in the 1995 survey (57% lower).

Bicycle theft – CSEW and police recorded crime

The apparent 9% decrease in bicycle theft, compared with the previous survey year, was not statistically significant (Tables 15a and 15b). This is one of the lower volume CSEW offence groups and can show large fluctuations from year to year. Appendix table A1 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) suggests that, like other household theft, these incidents showed a marked decline between 1995 and the 1999 survey, with both small increases and decreases thereafter. The variability means that emerging trends have to be interpreted with caution. The year ending June 2014 CSEW indicates that around 3% of bicycle owning households were victims of bicycle theft in the previous 12 months, down from 6% in the 1995 survey.

Bicycle thefts recorded by the police showed a small increase of 1% in the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b), returning to relatively stable levels following a large increase in 2011/12. The current level (97,146 offences) is one of the lowest since the NCRS was first introduced in 2002/03.

Shoplifting – police recorded crime

Shoplifting accounted for 9% of all police recorded crime in the year ending June 2014. The police recorded 321,839 shoplifting offences in this period, a 5% increase compared with the previous year. The volume of shoplifting recorded was the highest since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) in 2002/03. The longer term trend in shoplifting recorded by the police is different from that seen for other theft offences. While most theft offences saw steady declines in the number of crimes recorded by the police over much of the last decade, levels of recorded shoplifting showed comparatively little change over this time.

Thirty-two of the 43 territorial police force areas reported an increase in shoplifting in the year ending June 2014 ( Table P2 (155 Kb Excel sheet) ). Several forces recorded large percentage increases and while there is a mixed picture some of the larger increases were evident in northern England forces, such as in Merseyside (13%), Humberside (11%), Derbyshire (19%) and Durham (20%). However, there were also some large increases elsewhere including a 15% increase in Warwickshire and a 17% increase in North Wales. The Metropolitan Police Service recorded a small percentage increase of 2%.

Across England and Wales there were 14,179 more shoplifting offences in the year ending June 2014 when compared with the previous year. Police forces in the north of England accounted for 5,593 of these; nearly 2,000 more recorded offences than the Midlands, the south of England, or Wales.

The low rate of reporting to the police presents challenges in interpreting trends in police recorded shoplifting. There are a number of factors that should be considered, including:

  • an increase in reporting, whereby retailers may adopt new strategies or approaches to deal with shoplifters (such as one announced recently by the Cooperative supermarket chain5), which in turn means the police record more shoplifting offences;

  • changes to police recording practices - while there is no specific evidence to suggest there has been a recent change in the recording of shoplifting offences, it is not possible to rule this out; and,

  • a real increase in the number of shoplifting offences being committed. Findings from the recent surveys of the retail sector have been mixed. The 2013 CVS showed no statistically significant change in the estimated level of shoplifting compared with the 2012 survey, while a British Retail Consortium (BRC) survey indicated that their members are experiencing higher levels of shoplifting.

Anecdotal evidence6 from police forces suggests that the rise in police recorded shoplifting offences is likely to be a real increase in reporting rather than any change in police recording practice. Shoplifting is also less likely than other types of offence to be affected by changes in police recording practices.

The 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides a measure of shoplifting (referred to in the survey as ‘theft by customers’) which includes crimes not reported to the police. The 2013 survey estimated that there were 3.3 million incidents of theft by customers in the wholesale and retail sector; this is over ten times the number of shoplifting offences recorded by the police. This reflects the fact that most incidents of shoplifting do not come to the attention of the police. As such, recorded crime figures for this type of offence are highly dependent on whether the businesses report the incidents to the police.

To put the latest figures into context, the 2013 CVS indicates that there have been substantial falls in shoplifting over the last decade, with the number of incidents of customer theft having fallen from 12.2 million in the 2002 CVS.

All other theft offences – police recorded crime

The remainder of police recorded theft offences fall into the category ’All other theft offences‘, which include offences such as blackmail, theft by an employee, and ‘Making off without payment’ (for example, driving away from a petrol station without paying). There is also an ‘Other theft’ offence category, which comprises mostly of the theft of unattended items (including both personal property such as wallets or phones, and property from outside peoples’ homes, such as garden furniture). ‘Other theft’ accounts for 75% of the overall ’All other theft offences‘ category.

The most recent police recorded data showed a 5% decrease in all other theft offences, with 506,488 offences in the year ending June 2014 compared with 534,390 offences in the previous year. This decrease is in contrast with a recent upward trend in all other theft offences between 2009/10 and 2011/12 ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ), following a longer downward trend between 2003/04 and 2009/10 (Figure 12).

In the year ending June 2014 the police recorded 54,294 making off without payment offences, which was a 9% increase compared with the previous year. Previously there had been a steep decline in this particular offence, with the latest numbers 59% lower than those in 2003/04 (132,624 offences) ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Figure 12: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 12: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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As well as theft of unattended items, the police recorded ‘Other theft’ subcategory also includes crimes against organisations which are not covered by the CSEW, such as theft of metal or industrial equipment. It is not possible to identify these as separate categories in centrally held police recorded crime data. ‘Other theft’ offences saw a 7% decrease for the year ending June 2014 compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). This follows a 13% increase between 2009/10 and 2011/12. This is likely to have been caused in part by a surge in metal theft over this period, which corresponds with a spike in metal prices. Evidence suggests that such offences are decreasing and should be seen in the context of new metal theft legislation. The legislation came into force in May 2013, which increased fines for existing offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964, and introduced a new offence for dealers of paying for scrap metal in cash. For further information on metal theft, see the Home Office publication: Metal theft, England and Wales, financial year ending March 2013.

Table 15a: CSEW other theft of property - number, rate and percentage of incidents [1,2]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-133 Jul-13 to Jun-143
Number of incidents Thousands    
Theft from the person 680 607 705 563 518
Other theft of personal property 2,069 1,276 1,069 969 884
Other household theft 1,570 897 862 951 789
Bicycle theft 660 362 515 415 376
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households
Theft from the person 17 15 16 13 11
Other theft of personal property 51 31 25 22 19
Other household theft 76 41 38 40 33
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 71 39 51 33 30
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more
Percentage
Theft from the person 1.6 1.3 1.4 1.1 1.1
Other theft of personal property 4.1 2.6 2.1 1.9 1.7
Unweighted base - number of adults 16,337 37,891 46,220 35,303 34,554
Other household theft 5.1 3.0 2.8 3.2 2.7
Unweighted base - number of households 16,310 37,890 46,254 35,267 34,513
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 6.1 3.4 4.4 3.0 2.6
Unweighted base - bicycle owners 6,863 16,070 20,636 16,865 16,430

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 15b: CSEW other theft of property - percentage change and statistical significance [1,2]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance4  
Theft from the person -24 * -15 * -27 * -8
Other theft of personal property -57 * -31 * -17 * -9
Other household theft -50 * -12 * -9 * -17 *
Bicycle theft -43 * 4   -27 * -9  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households
Theft from the person -32 * -22 * -30 * -9
Other theft of personal property -62 * -37 * -21 * -10
Other household theft -56 * -19 * -12 * -18 *
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -58 * -24 * -42 * -11  
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more                
Percentage point change and significance3,4
Theft from the person -0.5 * -0.3 * -0.4 * 0.0
Other theft of personal property -2.4 * -0.9 * -0.4 * -0.2
Other household theft -2.5 * -0.4 * -0.1 -0.5 *
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -3.5 * -0.8 * -1.8 * -0.4 *

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.
  4. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

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Table 16a: Police recorded other theft - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Theft from the person 137,154 89,652 109,668 91,812
Bicycle theft 105,467 104,169 96,554 97,146
Shoplifting 303,235 320,739 307,660 321,839
All other theft offences5,6 898,772 633,583 534,390 506,488
Rate per 1,000 population        
Theft from the person 3 2 2 2
Bicycle theft 2 2 2 2
Shoplifting 6 6 5 6
All other theft offences5,6 17 12 9 9

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5. All other theft offences now includes all 'making off without payment' offences recorded since 2002/03. Making off without payment was previously included within the fraud offence group, but following a change in the classification for 2013/14, this change has been applied to previous years of data to give a consistent time series.
  6. For full range of offences included in all other theft see Appendix table A4.

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Table 16b: Police recorded other theft - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Theft from the person -33 2 -16
Bicycle theft -8 -7 1
Shoplifting 6 0 5
All other theft offences5,6 -44 -20 -5

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.
  5. All other theft offences now includes all 'making off without payment' offences recorded since 2002/03. Making off without payment was previously included within the fraud offence group, but following a change in the classification for 2013/14, this change has been applied to previous years of data to give a consistent time series.
  6. For full range of offences included in all other theft see Appendix table A4.

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Notes for Theft offences – Other theft of property

  1. For more information, see the Home Office report 'Reducing mobile phone theft and improving security'.

  2. Based on figures provided by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a freedom of information (FOI) request reported by London Evening Standard – 4th April 2013.

  3. For more details on the offences that constitute CSEW other household theft see Section 5.2 and Appendix 2 of the User Guide.

  4. For more details, see the Nature of Crime tables in ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’.

  5. As reported in the Nottingham Post, 18 December 2013.

  6. For example, as reported in The Guardian, 23 January 2014.

Criminal damage

Based on Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) interviews in the year ending June 2014, there were around 1.4 million incidents of criminal damage of personal and household property; this was a decrease of 20% from the previous year (Tables 17a and 17b). Figure 13 shows the long-term trend for criminal damage, which has followed a slightly different pattern compared with most other CSEW crime groups. Criminal damage peaked in 1993 with 3.4 million incidents followed by a series of modest falls (when compared with other CSEW offence types) until the 2003/04 survey (2.4 million offences). There was then a short upward trend until the 2006/07 CSEW (2.9 million offences), after which there were falls to its current level, the lowest since the survey began.

Figure 13: Trends in CSEW criminal damage, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Figure 13: Trends in CSEW criminal damage, 1981 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) from 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (July to June).

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Tables 17a and 17b highlight the recent downward trend in this offence group. There are statistically significant decreases when comparing the current figure with those from one, five and ten years ago. This trend is also reflected in the decline in percentage of households victimised. Around 4 in every 100 households were victims of criminal damage in the year ending June 2014 compared with around 10 in every 100 households in 1995.

Table 17a: CSEW criminal damage - number, rate and percentage of incidents[1,2]

England and Wales

Households
Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-133 Jul-13 to Jun-143
Number of incidents Thousands    
Criminal damage 3,300 2,421 2,656 1,706 1,372
Criminal damage to a vehicle 1,790 1,403 1,766 1,166 946
Arson and other criminal damage 1,510 1,018 890 540 427
Incidence rate per 1,000 households
Criminal damage 159 110 116 72 57
Criminal damage to a vehicle 86 64 77 49 40
Arson and other criminal damage 73 46 39 23 18
Percentage of households that were victims once or more Percentage
Criminal damage 10.1 7.1 7.6 5.0 3.9
Criminal damage to a vehicle 6.2 4.5 5.4 3.6 2.8
Arson and other criminal damage 4.3 2.8 2.5 1.5 1.2
Unweighted base - number of households 16,310 37,890 46,254 35,267 34,513

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Base sizes for data since year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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Table 17b: CSEW criminal damage - percentage change and statistical significance [1,2]

England and Wales

Households
July 2013 to June 2014 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance3  
Criminal damage -58 * -43 * -48 * -20 *
Criminal damage to a vehicle -47 * -33 * -46 * -19 *
Arson and other criminal damage -72 * -58 * -52 * -21 *
Incidence rate per 1,000 households
Criminal damage -64 * -48 * -51 * -20 *
Criminal damage to a vehicle -54 * -38 * -49 * -20 *
Arson and other criminal damage -75 * -61 * -54 * -22 *
Percentage of households that were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance3,4
Criminal damage -6.2 * -3.2 * -3.7 * -1.1 *
Criminal damage to a vehicle -3.4 * -1.7 * -2.6 * -0.8 *
Arson and other criminal damage -3.1 * -1.6 * -1.3 * -0.3 *

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.
  3. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.
  4. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

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Police recorded crime also shows reductions in the similar offence group of criminal damage and arson (although this also includes victims beyond the household population, like businesses)1. In the year ending June 2014 there were 500,305 offences recorded, a fall of 5% from the previous year (Tables 18a and 18b). Reductions were seen across all types of criminal damage recorded by the police ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Criminal damage and arson offences have seen a marked fall since 2006/07 whereas previously the pattern had been fairly flat since 2002/03.

Table 18a: Police recorded criminal damage and arson offences - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Criminal damage and arson 1,209,912 930,327 525,242 500,305
     Arson 57,546 34,827 19,429 18,367
     Criminal damage 1,152,366 895,500 505,813 481,938
Criminal damage and arson rate per 1,000 population 23 17 9 9

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Table 18b: Police recorded criminal damage and arson offences - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
  Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Criminal damage and arson -59 -46 -5
     Arson -68 -47 -5
     Criminal damage -58 -46 -5

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Notes for Criminal damage

  1. See Section 5.3 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’ This common definition was agreed in 2007 by the police, Crown Prosecution Service, Prison Service (now the National Offender Management Service) and other agencies that make up the criminal justice system. There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime:

  • race or ethnicity

  • religion or beliefs

  • sexual orientation

  • disability

  • transgender identity.

Hate crimes are a subset of notifiable crimes that are recorded by the police (as reported on in this publication) and make up around 1% of all crimes.

There were 44,480 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2013/14, an increase of five per cent compared with 2012/13 (42,236 offences; Table 2 in ‘Hate Crimes in England and Wales, 2013/14’).

It is possible for a crime to have more than one motivating factor (for example an offence may be motivated by hostility towards the victim’s race and religion). Thus, as well as recording the overall number of hate crimes, the police also collect data on the number of motivating factors by strand.

In 2013/14, of the 44,480 total hate crimes:

  • 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes

  • 4,462 (10%) were sexual orientation hate crimes

  • 2,273 (5%) were religion hate crimes

  • 1,985 (4%) were disability hate crimes

  • 555 (1%) were transgender hate crimes.

There were increases in all five of the centrally monitored strands between 2012/13 and 2013/14 (Table 2 in ‘Hate Crimes in England and Wales, 2013/14’).

There is evidence to suggest that some of the increase in race and religious hate crimes may be partly due to higher levels of hate crime following the murder of Lee Rigby, this is discussed further in the Home Office publication.

Another factor contributing to the increases across all the hate crime categories may be a greater awareness and recognition of these factors by the police when recording such offences.

For more information, please see the Home Office publication ‘Hate Crimes in England and Wales, 2013/14’.

Other crimes against society

Other crimes against society are offences recorded by the police which do not generally have a specific identifiable victim. They make up around 11% of all police recorded crime. Trends in such offences tend to reflect changes in police workload and activity rather than in levels of criminality.

The group of offences is made of the following categories:

  • Drug offences;

  • Public order offences;

  • Possession of weapons offences; and

  • Miscellaneous crimes against society.

Other crimes against society showed a decrease of 1% compared with the previous year, with 398,866 offences recorded in the year ending June 2014 (Tables 19a and 19b). Figure 14 shows the trend over time and how each separate offence category contributes to the overall figure.

Since 2003/04, the number of other crimes against society increased year on year until it peaked in 2007/08 (542,656 offences). Since 2007/08 the number of offences against society recorded has decreased year on year, mainly driven by the decreases in public order offences. The marked increases in the recording of these offences between 2004/05 and 2008/09 coincide with the priority placed on increasing the numbers of offences brought to justice associated with the previous Government’s 2005-2008 Public Service Agreement targets. This is particularly reflected in the trend for drug offences and public order offences (see relevant sections below for further details).

Figure 14: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Figure 14: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

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Drug offences

The police recorded 192,925 drug offences in the year ending June 2014, a decrease of 7% compared with the previous year. Figure 14 shows the trend over time for drug offences, where the number of drug offences steadily rose from 2004/05 until 2008/09 (peaking at 243,536 offences). They remained fairly consistent at around 230,000 each year until 2011/12, when they began to fall. Despite recent decreases, the number of drug offences recorded in the year ending June 2014 remains 34% higher than the number recorded in 2003/04 (Table 19b).

The number of drug offences recorded by the police is heavily dependent on police activities and priorities and changes over time may reflect changes in the policing of drug crime rather than real changes in its incidence. The increases in the recording of drug offences between 2004/05 and 2008/09 coincide with the priority placed Public Service Agreement targets. For example, in the past decade the police have been granted powers to:

  • issue warnings on the street (rather than at a police station) for possession of cannabis offences (April 2004); and

  • issue penalty notices for disorder for possession of cannabis (January 2009).

In the year ending June 2014, possession of cannabis offences accounted for 67% of all police recorded drug offences; this proportion has remained broadly similar since 2005/06 (between 67% and 70%).

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) can also be used to investigate trends in drug use. Relevant figures from the survey are compiled and published in an annual report by the Home Office, ‘Drug Misuse: findings from the 2013 to 2014 CSEW’. The general trends from the 2013/14 report show that overall illicit drug use in the last year among 16 to 59 year olds has increased in comparison to the previous year, but is back to the same level as in 2011/12. For further information from the CSEW on drug use see the Drug Misuse publication.

Public order offences

Public order offences cover circumstances where an offender is behaving in a way that causes, or would be likely to cause, alarm, distress or disorder. If there is an identifiable victim against who physical violence is used (or attempted) then this will be recorded as a violent offence, though public order offences may include some offences where injury is threatened. The offences in this category include public fear, alarm or distress, which has been moved from the violence offence group. Affray is also included in this offence group, a person is guilty of affray if he/she uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his/her conduct is such as would cause a “person of reasonable firmness” present at the scene to fear for his/her personal safety.

The latest figures (138,362 offences) show a 6% increase in public order offences compared with the previous year (Table 19b). The majority of this category (59% in the year ending June 2014) is made up of public fear, alarm or distress offences, which recorded a 3% increase compared with the previous year; an increase that is likely to reflect improvements in recording practices. Racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm or distress offences have also increased (by 8%) since the year ending June 2014, and other offences against the State or public order have increased by 12% in the previous year. Public order offences rose from 2002/03 and peaked in 2006/07 (236,661 offences) and have since shown year on year decreases until this year ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Like drug offences, the slight increase shown for this offence may reflect increased police activity and reporting, rather than increasing levels of criminality. Furthermore, as with violence crime, public order offences are more prone to changes in police recording practices.

Possession of weapons offences

This offence category covers only weapons possession offences, where there is no direct victim. Any circumstances in which a weapon has been used against a victim would be covered by other relevant victim-based offences. Information regarding offences where firearms or knives and sharp instruments have been used can be found in the ‘Offences involving firearms’ and ‘Offences involving knives and sharp instruments’ sections of this release.

The police recorded 20,902 possession of weapon offences in the year ending June 2014, a 5% increase compared with the previous year (19,982, Table 19a and 19b). The number of possession of weapons offences rose from 2002/03 and peaked in 2004/05 (40,605 offences) and has since shown year on year decreases until 2013/14. This has been driven by a rise in the possession of knives and other bladed instruments (up 9%) and is consistent with a rise of 7% seen in assault with injury offences involving a knife or other sharp instrument (Table 9).

Miscellaneous crimes against society

‘Miscellaneous crimes against society’ comprises a variety of offences (see Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) for a full list). The largest volume offences include: handling stolen goods, threat to commit criminal damage and perverting the course of justice. This bulletin includes a new category of wildlife crime for the first time, which was previously included in other notifiable offences but has now been separated into its own category.

The police recorded 46,677 offences in the year ending June 2014, an increase of 9% compared with the previous year (Table 19b). The number of miscellaneous crimes against society offences has shown year on year decreases since 2003/04 until the increase observed in 2013/14.

The latest increase is in part driven by a large increase in the number of obscene publications and protected sexual material offences which has increased by 40% to 5,199 offences in the year ending June 2014 when compared with the previous year (3,722 offences). This increase is largely due to an increase in offences related to the making and distribution of indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs (including those of children) via the internet or through mobile technology. It is an offence for a person to take or distribute such indecent photographs and the police have improved their recording of these offences.

There was also a rise in threats to commit criminal damage (which includes possession of articles with the intent to commit criminal damage, such as spray paint) which increased by 27% from 4,987 offences in the year ending June 2013 to 6,315 offences in the year ending June 2014 ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Table 19a: Police recorded other crimes against society - number and rate of offences[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 420,595 539,153 400,901 398,866
Drug offences 143,511 243,536 207,165 192,925
     Trafficking of drugs 24,628 29,885 29,537 28,871
     Possession of drugs 118,883 213,651 177,628 164,054
Possession of weapons offences 39,021 35,662 19,982 20,902
Public order offences 158,178 204,289 130,880 138,362
Miscellaneous crimes against society 79,885 55,666 42,874 46,677
         
Rate per 1,000 population        
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 8 10 7 7
Drug offences 3 4 4 3
Possession of weapons offences 1 1 0 0
Public order offences 3 4 2 2
Miscellaneous crimes against society 2 1 1 1

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Table 19b: Police recorded other crimes against society - percentage change[1,2,3,4]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY -5 -26 -1
Drug offences 34 -21 -7
     Trafficking of drugs 17 -3 -2
     Possession of drugs 38 -23 -8
Possession of weapons offences -46 -41 5
Public order offences -13 -32 6
Miscellaneous crimes against society -42 -16 9

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

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Fraud

The extent of fraud is difficult to measure because it is a deceptive crime, often targeted at organisations rather than individuals. Some victims of fraud may be unaware they have been a victim of crime, or that any fraudulent activity has occurred. Others may be reluctant to report the offence to the authorities feeling embarrassed that they have fallen victim.  Fraud is an offence not currently included in the CSEW headline estimates and the level of fraud reported via administrative sources is thought to significantly understate the true level of such crime.

The National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics for England and Wales identified fraud as one of the more important gaps in crime statistics and recommended that data from additional sources should be provided alongside existing available data in quarterly crime statistics publications. This section draws on a range of sources including police recorded crime, Action Fraud, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). No individual source provides a good measure of the overall extend of fraud offences, but together they help to provide a fuller picture. For more information on the different sources of fraud data, see Section 5.4 of the User Guide.

Recent changes to measuring police recorded fraud

There have been a number of changes to the presentation of fraud which were first introduced in the quarterly bulletin released in July 2013. Since that time, to reflect changes in operational arrangements for reporting and recording of fraud, data presented in the police recorded crime series include offences recorded by Action Fraud, a public facing national reporting centre that records incidents reported directly to them from the public and other organisations. Data from Action Fraud are collated by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), a government funded initiative, run by the City of London police who lead national policing on fraud.

Since 1st April 2013, Action Fraud has taken responsibility for the central recording of fraud offences previously recorded by individual police forces1. To allow for piloting and development of the Action Fraud service this transfer had a phased introduction between April 2011 and March 2013. For example, by the end of December 2012, 24 police force areas had transferred responsibility with the remaining transferring by the end of March 20132.

From 1st April 2014, all current fraud figures included within overall police recorded crime have been sourced from Action Fraud3. However, the comparator year (year ending June 2013) encompasses a mixture of data collections with three quarters of the data collected by the police and Action Fraud and one quarter solely by Action Fraud. As the proportion of fraud offences recorded by individual forces has diminished (and that by Action Fraud has grown),  it is not possible to make like for like comparisons between fraud offences recorded during the year ending June 2014 and those in previous years.

Although Action Fraud receives reports of fraud from victims across the UK, data presented in this bulletin cover fraud offences where the victim resides in England or Wales only, based on the victim’s postcode. Currently, Action Fraud data are not included in sub-national tables.

Users of police force area level data should refer to Table 5c in the User Guide for details of when each local force transferred responsibility for recording to Action Fraud. This will allow users to interpret trends in fraud and total recorded crime over time. To provide users with a comparable time series at sub-national level our reference tables include a figure for all police recorded crime excluding fraud4.

The offence ‘Making off without payment’ has been removed from fraud and moved into the more appropriate ‘All other theft offences’ category. A back series is available in this bulletin ( Appendix table A4 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). See the ‘Theft offences – All other theft offences’ section for more information.

Total fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud

In the year ending June 2014, 209,631 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales (Table 20a), equivalent to 4 offences recorded per 1,000 population. This represents a volume increase of 8% compared with the previous year (Table 20b). However, the move to centralised recording of fraud makes comparisons over time problematic. There are a number of factors that may have contributed to this increase including:

  • the centralisation of recording fraud and a possible improvement in recording practices resulting from having a specialist team dealing with fraud;

  • a possible increased proportion of victims reporting fraud following publicity around the launch of Action Fraud;

  • availability of online reporting tools to facilitate reporting of fraud offences to Action Fraud; and

  • a possible increase in the volume of fraud.

It is not possible to separate out or quantify the scale of each possible factor. A clearer picture will emerge over the next one to two years once the new recording arrangements have matured. Quarterly analysis of fraud offences shows how, in the year ending March 2013 during the transition to Action Fraud, the level of recorded fraud showed steady increases. However, since the point by which all forces had transferred to Action Fraud (April 2013) levels have remained fairly steady (with the exception of one lower quarter – October to December 2013). It will only be in the year ending March 2015 (due to be published in July 2015) that all effects of the transition will no longer be a factor when considering the year on year changes.

Appendix table A5 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) shows a more detailed breakdown of the fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud in the year ending June 2014, and indicates that the largest share of offences (42%) were accounted for by non-investment frauds (87,498 offences), almost half of which specifically relates to frauds involving online shopping and auctions (41,864 offences). There were only 15,741 offences involving cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts which is likely to reflect the fact that many individuals who had experienced such crime will not report to Action Fraud if their financial services provider reimburses their losses. In contrast reports from industry sources to NFIB show there were over 200,000 frauds involving cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts (Table 21). It is known that this significantly understates the level of such fraud as ‘Card not present’ fraud is not included within such industry reports.

For more information on the types of offences within each of the Action Fraud categories see Section 5.4 of the User Guide and Appendix table A5 (456.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Table 20a: Fraud offences recorded by the police and Action Fraud - number and rate of offences[1,2,3]

England and Wales

  Apr-08 to Mar-09 Apr-12 to Mar-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14
Fraud offences recorded by the police and Action Fraud4,5,6,7 72,314 194,019 209,631
Fraud rate per 1,000 population 1 3 4

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office and Action Fraud, National Fraud Authority
  2. Police recorded crime and Action Fraud data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. Police recorded crime statistics based on all data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  4. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. This process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013. The offences in this table therefore include those recorded by either the police or Action Fraud individually, or both, depending on the time period specified.
  5. Due to the change in recording of fraud offences being taken over by Action Fraud, caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years. See the User Guide for more details including information on transfer date to Action Fraud for each force.

  6. From 2012-13, forgery offences have been reclassified under miscellaneous crimes against society.
  7. 'Making off without payment' was previously included in fraud. Since April 2013, it is included in all other theft offences.

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Table 20b: Fraud offences recorded by the police and Action Fraud - percentage change[1,2,3]

England and Wales

Percentage change
Jul 2013 to Jun 2014 compared with:
  Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Fraud offences recorded by the police and Action Fraud4,5,6,7 190 8

Table notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office and Action Fraud, National Fraud Authority.

  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

  3. Action Fraud data are not designated as National Statistics.
  4. Police recorded crime statistics based on all data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  5. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. This process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013. The offences in this table therefore include those recorded by either the police or Action Fraud individually, or both, depending on the time period specified.
  6. From 2012-13, forgery offences have been reclassified under miscellaneous crimes against society.
  7. 'Making off without payment' was previously included in fraud. Since April 2013, it is included in all other theft offences.

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Fraud offences reported by industry bodies

In line with recommendations from the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics this bulletin draws on additional sources to provide further context. In addition to the fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud, which are included in the police recorded crime series shown above, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) also collect data on fraud direct from industry bodies (Table 21).

The NFIB currently receive data from two industry bodies:

  • CIFAS is a UK-wide fraud prevention service representing around 300 organisations from the public and private sectors. These organisations mainly share data on confirmed cases of fraud, particularly application, identity and first party frauds, via the CIFAS National Fraud Database. Data supplied by CIFAS to the NFIB are recorded in line with the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) for recorded crime.

  • Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) is the name under which the financial services industry co-ordinates its activity on fraud prevention. FFA UK works in partnership with The UK Cards Association, and collates information from the card payments industry in the UK on fraud relating to cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts, via their central Fraud Intelligence Sharing System (FISS) database. The data supplied by FFA UK also conforms to HOCR, however FISS is an intelligence tool rather than a fraud reporting tool, and its main purpose is to share intelligence about the criminals or entities relating to fraud offences rather than count the number of victims of fraud.

Both sets of industry data relate only to those organisations that are part of the respective membership networks (CIFAS, UK Cards Association), therefore coverage can also change as new members join or previous members withdraw. These data are subject to continuing development and ONS is giving consideration as to whether these can be designated as Official Statistics in the future.

In addition, users should also be aware that the NFIB data sourced from industry bodies cover the United Kingdom as a whole, while all other data in this bulletin refer to England and Wales.

In addition to the offences recorded by Action Fraud, the NFIB received 363,092 reports of fraud in the UK in the year ending June 2014 from industry bodies CIFAS and FFA UK (Table 21). This represents a 7% increase from the previous year (337,958 reports5). Following improvements made to the collection of data from CIFAS to NFIB, the figures quoted may differ to that given in previous publications.

Of the fraud offences reported by those bodies, 82% were in the category of ‘banking and credit industry fraud’ (298,638). This category includes fraud involving plastic cards , cheques and online bank accounts which accounted for the majority of the offences recorded in the year ending June 2014. The category also covers payment-related frauds under the subcategory ‘Application Fraud’ which includes offences that occurred outside of the banking sector; for example, fraudulent applications made in relation to hire purchase agreements, as well as to insurance, telecommunications or retail companies, or public sector organisations.

Types of plastic card fraud recorded by the National Fraud Database include fraudulent applications for plastic cards (including ID fraud), fraudulent misuse of plastic card accounts, and takeover of plastic card accounts (for example changing the address and getting new cards issued). CIFAS do not currently collect data on ‘card not present’ fraud, where the cardholder and card are not present at the point of sale, for example, use of the card online, over the phone or by mail order. In addition they do not include data on fraud relating to lost or stolen cards and ATM fraud. This means that a high proportion of plastic card fraud is not included in the NFIB figures.

FFA UK data contain intelligence for Mail Not Received (MNR) fraud, Card ID fraud (includes Account Takeover and Application Fraud), Payment fraud (includes fraud relating to telephone banking and online banking), Cheque fraud (includes forged, altered and counterfeit) and Mule accounts (accounts used for laundering the proceeds of fraud). Like CIFAS, FFA UK do not currently feed through to the NFIB data on ‘card not present’ fraud, lost or stolen cards and ATM fraud6. This is thought to represent a significant volume of all plastic card fraud and thus the figures here understate the level of fraud known by industry bodies. However, information relating to plastic card fraud in terms of levels of financial fraud losses on UK cards is published annually by the FFA UK on behalf of the UK Cards Association7.

CIFAS and FFA UK provide separate feeds to NFIB via their individual databases, however a proportion of organisations are members of both industry bodies (CIFAS, UK Cards Association).

It is possible that there may be some double or triple counting between both these sources and the offences recorded via direct reports from victims to Action Fraud. For example, if police are called to a bank and apprehend an offender for a fraud offence. Police record this crime with Action Fraud and the bank report the same crime to CIFAS or FFA UK as part of their processes. Experts believe this duplication to be so small as to have an insignificant effect on crime trends, but there is no simple cross-referencing method within NFIB to detect the scale of it.

Table 21: Fraud offences, reported by industry bodies to NFIB, year ending June 2014 [1,2,3]

United Kingdom

Numbers
Fraud Type4,5 CIFAS FFA UK Total
Banking and credit industry fraud 183,336 115,302 298,638
     Cheque, Plastic Card and Online Bank Accounts (not PSP) 123,201 115,302 238,503
     Application Fraud (excluding Mortgages) 55,581 0 55,581
     Mortgage Related Fraud  4,554 0 4,554
       
Insurance Related Fraud 8,385 0 8,385
Telecom Industry Fraud (Misuse of Contracts) 55,929 0 55,929
Business Trading Fraud 110 0 110
Fraudulent Applications for Grants from Charities 30 0 30
Total 247,790 115,302 363,092

Table notes:

  1. Source: National Fraud Intelligence Bureau6
  2. NFIB fraud data from industry bodies are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. From 2012/13, this table presents fraud data collated by NFIB from CIFAS and Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) only and does not include fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud, which are now represented alongside police recorded crime. Data presented here are therefore not comparable with past published NFIB figures.
  4. The breakdown of fraud types presented here is condensed due to the removal of Action Fraud data. All other former fraud offence categories not included here are represented in the Action Fraud breakdown in Appendix table A5.
  5. For an explanation and examples of fraud offences within each category, see Section 5.4 of the User Guide.
  6. For more information on the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau see http://www.nfib.police.uk/

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Measuring fraud using the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW)

As described above, fraud is not currently included in the headline CSEW crime estimate. However, the CSEW includes supplementary modules of questions on victimisation across a range of fraud and cyber-crime offences, including plastic card and bank/building society fraud, which are reported separately from the headline estimates. However, such questions do not yield data on the number of times respondents fell victim within the crime reference period. Based on some crude assumptions about the average number of offences experienced by each victim, an estimation (based on the 2012/13 CSEW)  suggested that together, plastic card fraud and bank and building society fraud might could contribute between 3.6 and 3.8 million incidents to the 2012/13 CSEW estimates.

ONS are currently conducting some methodological work to develop and test new questions on fraud (both online and offline) and other types of cyber-crime. There are a wide range of associated conceptual challenges that need to be addressed, which include8:

  • Counting incidents – plastic card or bank account fraud often involve separate ‘events’ (e.g. card purchases at different retailers, on different days) and a clear set of rules for counting incidents would need to be established. These need to be conceptually sound but also practical in terms of respondents being able to recall and group, or separate, such events into individual incidents.

  • Identifying and counting victims, for example, in areas such as bank and credit card (cyber-enabled) fraud, there may be ambiguity about the victim. Is it the bank or financial institution who suffers the loss, or the customer, or both?

  • Identifying where the crime took place - while it is often possible to identify where the victim or victims reside, it is often not possible to identify where the offence originated.

  • The means for criminals to attempt to commit this type of crime on a grand scale. Thus a single act of uploading a computer virus or sending a malicious e-mail may impact on thousands of people and could (in theory) result in thousands of crimes being recorded.

This work includes developing and cognitively testing questions for inclusion in the survey and fieldwork piloting. It will also include examining what impact adding such questions may have on existing questionnaire length and on existing time series. This work will be extensive and is expected to run throughout most of 2014 with the aim of questions being implemented from 2015/16. A note informing users of progress with this project can be found here - see the methodological note 'Work to extend the Crime Survey for England and Wales to include fraud and cyber crime'.

Plastic card fraud

As mentioned at the beginning of the fraud section, the CSEW main crime count does not include plastic card fraud. However, elements of banking and payment related fraud are the focus of a module of questions in the CSEW, which asks respondents about their experience of plastic card fraud and can be reported on separately.

The year ending June 2014 CSEW showed that 5.2% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, a statistically significant rise from the 4.6% estimated in the year ending June 2013. Before that, there had been small reductions in levels of plastic card fraud over the last few years, following a rise between 2005/06 and 2009/10 surveys (Figure 15). The current increased level of victimisation remains higher than more established offences such as theft from the person and other theft of personal property (1.1% and 1.7% respectively, Table 15). Further analysis, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, was published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on Property Crime: Chapter 3 Plastic card fraud’.

Separate figures are available from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) who report on levels of financial fraud losses on UK cards. This totalled £450 million in 2013, a 16% increase compared with 2012 (£388m). Despite this increase, significant decreases in recent years prior to this mean that card fraud losses in 2013 were 26% lower than in 2008 (£610m) when losses were at their peak9.

The industry suggests that a combination of the use of fraud screening detection tools by retailers, banks and the cards industry, the introduction of chip and pin technology, enhanced user and industry awareness and improved prevention and detection initiatives have led to the previous decreases in plastic card fraud. More detailed information including a breakdown of plastic card fraud by type in the UK and abroad, is available from the UK Cards Association.

Figure 15: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending June 2014

Figure 15: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics

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Notes for Fraud

  1. Police forces continue to record forgery offences, which fall under ‘Other crimes against society’ and are not included under ‘Fraud offences’. See Section 5.4 of the User Guide for more information.

  2. For more information regarding the date when each police force transferred responsibility to Action Fraud see Section 5.4: Fraud of the User Guide.

  3. The completion of the transition to Action Fraud happened by the end of 2012/13. However, a small number of fraud offences were mistakenly recorded by police forces in early 2013/14. These were corrected in subsequent quarters, leading to the negative number of fraud offences seen in the latest year to June 2014.

  4. Changes to the way in which police record crimes of fraud following the introduction of the Fraud Act 2006 mean that fraud figures from 2007/08 onwards are not directly comparable with figures for earlier years.

  5. Figures recorded by CIFAS under the category of telecoms fraud for the year ending June 2013 have been revised compared with previously published figures. This is due to a correction of an error that was caused by the NFIB system not correctly picking up certain CIFAS fraud types.

  6. These frauds are reported separately to FFA UK via a fraud reporting mechanism which does not feed through to NFIB, and so do not appear in the figures we publish.

  7. Fraud losses on UK-issued cards between 2003 and 2013 are reported in the ‘Fraud The Facts 2014’ publication.

  8. For a fuller explanation, see Section 5.4 of the User Guide.

  9. Fraud losses on UK-issued cards between 2003 and 2013 are reported in the ‘Fraud The Facts 2014’ publication.

Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

Since January 2009, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) has asked children aged 10 to 15 resident in households in England and Wales about their experience of crime in the previous 12 months. Question changes during development of the questionnaire in the first three years of the survey should be borne in mind when interpreting the figures. While data presented since the 2011/12 survey year should be comparable, it is difficult to discern a trend as the total number of incidents has shown small fluctuations across the available time series. For this reason no percentage change or statistical significance is presented for any year. Methodological differences also mean that direct comparisons cannot be made between the adult and child data (Millard and Flatley).

Overall level of crime

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending June 2014, there were an estimated 769,000 crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 using the preferred measure1; of these 56% were categorised as violent crimes2 (427,000) while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (296,000; 38%) (Tables 22 to 24). Incidents of criminal damage to personal property experienced by children were less common (47,000; 6% of all crimes).

Twelve per cent of children aged 10 to 15 have been recorded as a victim of a crime covered by the CSEW in the past year. Of these, this includes 6% who have been a victim of a violent crime and 6% who had been a victim of personal theft. While there were more violent incidents than theft offences, violent incidents affected a similar proportion of 10 to 15 year olds as seen for theft offences. This is because they were more likely to have been repeated against the same victim.

Table 22: CSEW offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure [1,2]

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar-12 Apr-12 to Mar-134 Apr-13 to Mar-144 Jul-13 to Jun-144
    Thousands:        
Number of incidents 918 1,066 817 810 769
    Percentage:        
Percentage who were victims once or more 11.6 15.1 12.2 12.1 11.8
Unweighted base 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,933 2,786

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Some estimates are based on a small number of children, hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2013/14 estimates.
  3. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children.
  4. Base sizes for data from April 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced.

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Violent offences

The CSEW estimates that there were 427,000 violent offences against children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending June 2014 with just over two thirds (67%) of these resulting in injury to the victim.  This equates to 6% of children aged 10 to 15 having had experienced violent crime in the last year; and 4% having had experienced violence with injury (Table 23). Less than 1% of children aged 10 to 15 were victims of robbery in the last year.

Table 23: CSEW violent offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure[1,2]

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar-12 Apr-12 to Mar-134 Apr-13 to Mar-144 Jul-13 to Jun-144
    Number of incidents (thousands):    
Violence 602 591 479 445 427
  Wounding 90 58 92 64 70
  Assault with minor injury 337 307 212 218 206
  Assault without injury 118 139 107 110 103
  Robbery 58 87 68 53 47
  Violence with injury 461 403 339 300 287
  Violence without injury5 141 188 140 145 140
    Percentage who were victims once or more:  
Violence 6.8 7.7 6.1 6.5 6.3
  Wounding 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.2
  Assault with minor injury 3.7 3.6 2.9 3.3 3.0
  Assault without injury 1.7 2.2 1.4 1.7 1.7
  Robbery 0.9 1.3 1.0 0.7 0.8
  Violence with injury 5.0 4.8 4.2 4.5 4.2
  Violence without injury5 2.1 3.1 2.1 2.2 2.4
Unweighted base 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,933 2,786
 

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Some estimates are based on a small number of children, hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2013/14 estimates.
  3. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children.
  4. Base sizes for data from April 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced.
  5. 'Violence with injury' includes wounding, assault with minor injury and robbery where injury was sustained. 'Violence without injury' includes assault without injury and robbery where no injury was sustained.

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Property offences

There were an estimated 296,000 incidents of theft and 47,000 incidents of damage of personal property experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending June 2014 according to the CSEW. Around 61% of the thefts were classified as other theft of personal property (182,000 incidents) which includes thefts of property left unattended.

Six per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had experienced an incident of personal theft in the last year, with other theft of personal property most commonly experienced (4%). Theft from the person (for example, pick-pocketing) was not as common, with 1% of children reporting being victimised. One per cent of children had experienced criminal damage to personal property.

Table 24: CSEW property offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure [1,2]

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar-12 Apr-12 to Mar-134 Apr-13 to Mar-144 Jul-13 to Jun-144
    Number of incidents (thousands):    
Personal theft 288 435 304 322 296
  Theft from the person 35 55 42 49 69
  Snatch theft 19 27 12 35 40
  Stealth theft 16 28 30 13 29
  Other theft of personal property 171 263 208 225 182
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling5 25 40 22 18 17
  Bicycle theft5 58 77 32 30 27
             
Criminal damage to personal property5 28 40 34 43 47
    Percentage who were victims once or more:  
Personal theft 5.4 8.1 6.5 6.2 5.6
  Theft from the person 0.7 1.2 0.9 0.7 1.0
  Snatch theft 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.5 0.6
  Stealth theft 0.3 0.7 0.7 0.2 0.4
  Other theft of personal property 3.1 4.9 4.4 4.4 3.7
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling5 0.5 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.3
  Bicycle theft5 1.2 1.5 0.8 0.7 0.6
             
Criminal damage to personal property5 0.4 0.8 0.8 0.9 1.0
Unweighted base 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,933 2,786

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Some estimates are based on a small number of children, hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2013/14 estimates.
  3. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children.
  4. Base sizes for data from April 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced.
  5. These offences are designated as 'household' offences for adults on the CSEW (respondents reply on behalf of the household) but are presented here as 'personal' offences when the property stolen or damaged solely belonged to the child respondent. This broadens the scope of personal victimisation but may also result in double-counting of offences on the adult survey; the extent to which this happens will be evaluated in the future.

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Notes for Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

  1. More information about the preferred and broad measures of crime against children can be found in the User Guide. Tables for the broad measure of crime are available in the bulletin table spreadsheet, Tables 22-24.

  2. The survey of children aged 10 to 15 only covers personal level crime (so excludes household level crime); the majority (over 70%) of violent crimes experienced in the year ending June 2014 resulted in minor or no injury, so in most cases the violence is low level.

Anti-social behaviour

Incidents recorded by the police

Figures recorded by the police relating to anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be considered alongside police recorded (notifiable) crime to provide a more comprehensive view of the crime and disorder that comes to the attention of the police. Any incident of anti-social behaviour which results in a notifiable offence will be included in police recorded crime figures and as such the two sets of data do not overlap.

The police record anti-social behaviour incidents in accordance with the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR); for further details, see Section 5.7 of the User Guide. These figures are not currently accredited National Statistics. In particular, a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2012 found significant variation in the recording of ASB incidents across police forces. It is also known that occasionally police forces may be duplicating some occurrences of a singular ASB incident where multiple reports by different callers have been made.

Following the HMIC review in 2012, it was additionally found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB1. HMIC found instances of:

  • forces failing to identify crimes, instead wrongly recording them as ASB;

  • reported ASB not being recorded on force systems, for instance if the victim had reported it directly to the neighbourhood team or via email (as opposed to by telephone);

  • reported ASB being recorded as something else, such as suspicious behaviour; and

  • incidents that were not ASB being recorded as ASB.

Furthermore, data on ASB incidents before and after 2011/12 are not directly comparable, owing to a change in the classification used for ASB incidents. From April 2012 ASB incidents also include data from the British Transport Police so comparisons over time can only be made with the British Transport Police figures included from 2012/13 onwards. The police recorded 2.1 million incidents of ASB in the year ending June 2014. This compares to the 3.7 million notifiable crimes recorded by the police over the same period (Figure 16). The number of ASB incidents recorded by the police and the British Transport Police in the year ending June 2014 decreased by 6% compared with the previous year.

Figures for the period 2007/08 to 2011/12 also show declines in the number of ASB incidents recorded by the police consistent with recent trends in total police recorded crime.

Figure 16: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending June 2014

Figure 16: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office; ASB incidents: 2007/08 – 2009/10, National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA); 2010/11, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC); from 2011/12 onwards, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime and ASB incident data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. ASB incidents exclude British Transport Police.
  4. Following a different approach to recording ASB incidents data, figures from 2011/12 onwards are not directly comparable with previous years; see Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information.

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From 2011/12, a new set of three simplified categories for ASB was introduced (for further details, see Chapter 5 of the User Guide):

  • ‘Nuisance’ – captures incidents where an act, condition, thing or person causes trouble, annoyance, irritation, inconvenience, offence or suffering to the local community in general rather than to individual victims;

  • ‘Personal’ – captures incidents that are perceived as either deliberately targeted at an individual or group, or having an impact on an individual or group rather than the community at large; and

  • ‘Environmental’ – captures incidents where individuals and groups have an impact on their surroundings, including natural, built and social environments.

All forces adopted these new definitions, though in the HMIC report it was found that 35% of all incidents reviewed were considered to be incorrectly categorised. This should be kept in mind when considering ASB incident figures.

In the year ending June 2014, 67% of the ASB incidents categorised by the police were identified as ‘Nuisance’; 27% as ‘Personal’; and 6% as ‘Environmental’ (Figure 17). This distribution may reflect propensity of reporting rather than the actual distribution of ASB by type.

Figure 17: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending June 2014

Figure 17: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending June 2014

Notes:

  1. Source: Home Office
  2. ASB data are not accredited National Statistics.
  3. Figures include British Transport Police.

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CSEW measures of anti-social behaviour

Questions about respondents’ actual experiences of ASB in their local area were added to the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) to expand on existing questions about perceived ASB. These questions asked whether the respondent had personally experienced or witnessed ASB in their local area and, if so, what types.

Twenty-eight per cent of adults in the year ending June 2014 indicated that they had personally experienced or witnessed at least one of the ASB problems asked about in their local area in the previous year (Table 25), which has not changed from the previous year. This included 9% of adults who experienced or witnessed drink related anti-social behaviour and 8% who witnessed or experienced groups hanging around on the streets.

Table 25: CSEW experiences of anti-social behaviour, year ending June 2013 and year ending June 2014 [1]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14 Statistically significant change, Jul-12 to Jun-13 to Jul-13 to Jun-14
  Percentages  
Personally experienced/witnessed anti-social behaviour in local area 28 28  
       
Types of anti-social behaviour experienced/witnessed2      
       
Drink related behaviour 10 9  
Groups hanging around on the streets 10 8 *
Inconsiderate behaviour3 6 5 *
Loud music or other noise 5 5  
Litter, rubbish or dog-fouling 4 4  
Vandalism, criminal damage or graffiti 4 4  
People being intimidated, verbally abused or harassed 3 3  
People using or dealing drugs 3 3  
Vehicle related behaviour4 3 3  
Nuisance neighbours 3 3  
Begging, vagrancy or homeless people 1 1  
Out of control or dangerous dogs 1 1  
People committing inappropriate or indecent sexual acts in public 0 0  
       
Other anti-social behaviour 2 2 *
       
Unweighted base 35,283 34,531  
 

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Respondents can experience more than one type of anti-social behaviour, so percentages will not sum to the total that experienced/witnessed anti-social behaviour in their local area.
  3. Includes repeated/inappropriate use of fireworks; youths kicking/throwing balls in inappropriate areas; cycling/skateboarding in pedestrian areas or obstructing pavements; people throwing stones/bottles/eggs, etc.
  4. Includes inconvenient/illegal parking; abandoned vehicles; speeding cars/motorcycles; car revving; joyriding, etc.

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The CSEW also contains a separate set of questions asking respondents about perceptions of problems with different types of ASB in their local area. Seven of these questions are used to provide an overall index of perceived ASB. In the year ending June 2014 CSEW, 11% of adults perceived there to be a high level of ASB in their local area, a decrease of one percentage point since the previous year (Table 26).

Since 2003/04 the CSEW has consistently estimated that around a quarter of adults perceive a problem in their local area with ‘People using or dealing drugs’ and almost a third believe ‘Rubbish or litter lying around’ as a problem in the local area. Other anti-social behaviour indicators have tended to show declines over this time period, with the most pronounced decline for the ‘Abandoned or burnt-out cars’ category, which peaked at 25% in 2002/03 and has subsequently fallen each year down to 2% in the year ending June 2014.

Table 26: CSEW trends in the anti-social behaviour indicators, 1996 to year ending June 2014 [1,2]

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Jan-96 to Dec-96 Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Jul-13 to Jun-14 Statistically significant change, Jul-12 to Jun-13 to Jul-13 to Jun-14
  Percentages  
High level of perceived anti-social behaviour  :               16              16              13              11  
             
  Percentage saying there is a very/fairly big problem in their area  
Rubbish or litter lying around 26 29 30              28              29  
People using or dealing drugs 21 25 27              25              24  
Teenagers hanging around on the streets 24 27 30              22              19 *
People being drunk or rowdy in public places3 : 19 26              20              19 *
Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property 24 28 27              18              16 *
Noisy neighbours or loud parties 8 9 10              11              11  
Abandoned or burnt-out cars3 : 15 6                 3                 2  
             
Unweighted base4,5 7,625 36,116 44,010 8,427 8,569  

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. For further years data see Annual trend and demographic table D9 of the year ending March 2014 publication.
  3. The question on abandoned or burn-out cars was introduced in 2000 and the question on people being drunk or rowdy in public places was introduced in 2001.
  4. Unweighted bases refer to the question relating to people using or dealing drugs. Other bases will be similar.
  5. From April 2011 the number of respondents asked questions about their perceptions of problems in the local area was reduced (from a full sample) to a half sample and from April 2012 was reduced to a quarter sample.

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It is difficult to directly compare the two CSEW measures (perceptions of and experiences of ASB) since the list of ASB categories used in the experience-based questions is more expansive than those asked of respondents in relation to their perceptions. In addition, they are measuring different things; actual experiences and perceptions. It is likely someone can experience an ASB incident without necessarily believing that it is part of a problem in their local area, if, for example, it was a one-off or isolated occurrence. The frequency or number of incidents experienced coupled with the perceived extent and seriousness of a problem will also vary from person to person.

More detailed analysis on ASB as measured by the CSEW has been published in the 'Short Story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12' release.

Notes for Anti-social behaviour

  1. See the HMIC report: ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’ for further details.

Other non-notifiable crimes

The police recorded crime series is restricted to offences which are, or can be, tried at a Crown Court and a few additional closely related summary offences1. A range of non-notifiable offences may be dealt with by the police issuing an out of court disposal or by prosecution at a magistrates’ court. Offences dealt with at magistrates courts may also include some offences that have been identified by other agencies – for example, prosecutions by TV Licensing or by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for vehicle registration offences.

Data on these offences provide counts of offences where action has been brought against an offender and guilt has either been ascertained in court, or the offender has admitted culpability through acceptance of a penalty notice. These offences generally only come to light through the relevant authorities actively looking to identify offending behaviour. These figures help fill a gap in the coverage of the main Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime statistics.

The most recent data available on non-notifiable crimes are for the year ending March 2014. Key findings include the following:

  • Cases brought to magistrates’ courts in the year ending March 2014 resulted in close to 1.0 million convicted non-notifiable offences, down 5% from the year ending March 2013 and continuing the downward trend since 2002/03 (Tables 27a and 27b)2; and

  • 33,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued for non-notifiable offences in the year ending March 2014 (Table 27a). Four in five of these were for being drunk and disorderly3.

Table 27a: Non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts/Penalty Notices for Disorder - number and rate [1]

England and Wales

  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Apr-12 to Mar-13 Apr-13 to Mar-14
Non-notifiable convictions (thousands)2 1,840 1,223 1,010 963
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population)3,4 35 22 18 17
         
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder (thousands)5,6,7 : 59 40 33
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population)3,4 : 1 1 1

Table notes:

  1. Source: Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2014 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3)
  2. Figures for non-notifiable convictions apply to offenders aged 10 and over.
  3. The year to March 2014 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2012 census based population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using mid-year population estimates from previous years.
  4. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential offenders.
  5. Penalty Notices for Disorder, both higher and lower tier offences, issued to offenders aged 16 and over.
  6. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.
  7. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

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Table 27b: Non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts/Penalty Notices for Disorder - percentage change [1]

England and Wales

Percentage change
  April 2013 to March 2014  compared with:
  Apr-03 to Mar-04 Apr-08 to Mar-09 Apr-12 to Mar-13
Non-notifiable convictions2 -48 -21 -5
Incidence rate3,4 -51 -24 -5
       
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder5,6,7 : -44 -16
Incidence rate3,4 : -46 -17

Table notes:

  1. Source: Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2014 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3)
  2. Figures for non-notifiable convictions apply to offenders aged 10 and over.
  3. The year to March 2014 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2012 census based population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using mid-year population estimates from previous years.
  4. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential offenders.
  5. Penalty Notices for Disorder, both higher and lower tier offences, issued to offenders aged 16 and over.
  6. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.
  7. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

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The police and, increasingly, local authorities, have powers to issue penalty notices for a range of traffic offences; the police issued 1.3 million Fixed Penalty Notices (over half of which related to speeding) in 20124.

Notes for Other non-notifiable crimes

  1. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (that is, offences which could be tried at a Crown Court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.

  2. The latest figures available from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) relate to all offences for the year ending March 2014 and thus lag the CSEW and police recorded series by three months but are included to give a fuller picture.

  3. Figures from the MoJ’s Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2014 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3).

  4. Figures from the Home Office’s Police Powers and Procedures 2012/13 publication.

Commercial Victimisation Survey

In order to address the significant gap in crime statistics that existed for crimes against businesses, the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011), recommended the Home Office continue to implement its plans for a telephone survey of businesses. The 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provided information on the volume and type of crime committed against businesses in England and Wales across four sectors: ‘manufacturing’; ‘wholesale and retail’; ‘transportation and storage’; and ‘accommodation and food’. For more information, see the Home Office’s ‘Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’. The 2013 CVS covered a slightly different set of business sectors; it continued to include the ‘accommodation and food’, and ‘wholesale and retail’ sectors, but the ‘manufacturing’ and ‘transportation and storage’ sectors were replaced by the ‘agriculture’ and the ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ sectors. For more information, see the Home Office’s ‘Headline findings from the 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey’ and also the ‘Detailed findings from the 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey’, published in June 2014. The CVS is annual, not continuous. Headline figures for the number of crimes against businesses are included in this bulletin.

Combined estimates from the 2012 and 2013 CVS1 show that there were 7.3 million crimes against businesses in the six industry sectors covered by the two surveys. Thefts, for example shoplifting, were by far the most common type of crime experienced (5.1 million incidents), making up 70% of all incidents of crime against the six sectors.

Two out of every five (40%) premises in the six sectors covered by the 2012 and 2013 CVS had experienced at least one of the main crime types covered by the survey. Thefts were experienced by around one in five premises (20%).

Victimisation was more prominent in the ‘wholesale and retail’ premises and the ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ premises (45% of premises in each of these sectors had experienced crime in the year prior to interview) and less so in ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ and ‘manufacturing’ premises (30% of premises in each of these sectors had experienced crime in the year prior to interview).

Table 28: Number of incidents of crime experienced by businesses in the 12 months before interview, 2012 and 2013 CVS, by industry sector [1]

England and Wales

  2013 CVS 2012 CVS  
  Wholesale and retail Accommodation and food Arts, entertainment and recreation Agriculture, forestry and fishing Transportation and storage Manufacturing All six sectors
ALL CVS CRIME number of incidents (thousands)                   5,915                        575                      196                      133                      324                      164         7,306
ALL CVS CRIME rate per 1,000 premises                17,261                     4,565                   4,660                   1,475                   5,824                   1,500         9,543
ALL CVS CRIME proportion of premises that experienced crime (%)                        45                           42                        45                        30                        40                        30               40

Table notes:

  1. Source: 2012 and 2013 Commercial Victimisation Surveys, Home Office

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Notes for Commercial Victimisation Survey

  1. The four sectors surveyed in 2013 were combined with the two sectors that were only surveyed in 2012 to give a broad picture of crimes as currently possible against business premises in England and Wales.

Data sources – coverage and coherence

Crime Survey for England and Wales

The CSEW is a face-to-face survey in which people resident in households in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of crime in the 12 months prior to the interview. It covers both children aged 10-15 and adults aged 16 and over, but does not cover those living in group residences (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons), or crimes against commercial or public sector bodies. Respondents are interviewed in their own homes by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire that is administered on a laptop computer using specialist survey software. The questions asked do not use technical terms or legal definitions but are phrased in plain English language. The information collected during the interview is then reviewed later by a team of specialist coders employed by the survey contractors (currently TNS-BMRB) who determine whether or not what was reported amounts to a crime in law and, if so, what offence has been experienced. This ‘offence coding’ aims to reflect the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime which govern how the police record offences reported to them. The CSEW is able to capture all offences experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to, and recorded by, the police. It covers a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by the resident household population. However, there are some serious but relatively low volume offences, such as homicide and sexual offences that are not included in its main estimates. The survey also currently excludes fraud and cyber crime though there is ongoing development work to address this gap – see the methodological note 'Work to extend the Crime Survey for England and Wales to include fraud and cyber crime'. This infographic sets out what is and is not covered by the CSEW.

Since it began, the CSEW has been conducted by an independent (from government or the police) survey research organisation using trained interviewers to collect data from sampled respondents. The interviewers have no vested interest in the results of the survey. For the crime types and population groups it covers, the CSEW has a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of public reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity. As such, the survey is widely seen to operate as an independent reality-check of the police figures. The independence of the survey has been further strengthened by the transfer of responsibility from the Home Office to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in April 2012.

The CSEW has a higher number of reported volumes than police recorded crime as the survey is able to capture all offences by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to the police and then recorded. However, it does cover a narrower range of offences than the recorded crime collection.

The CSEW has necessary exclusions from its main count of crime (for example, homicide, crimes against businesses and other organisations, and drug possession). The survey also excludes sexual offences from its main crime count given the sensitivities around reporting this in the context of a face-to-face interview. However, at the end of the main interview there is a self-completion element (also via a computer) where adults aged 16 to 59 are asked about their experience of domestic and sexual violence and these results are reported separately1.

Since the survey started in 1982 (covering crime experienced in 1981) a core module of victimisation questions has asked about a range of offences experienced either by the household (such as burglary) or by the individual respondent (such as robbery). The offences covered by this core module have remained unchanged since the survey started.

The offence of fraud, whether committed in traditional or newer ways (such as over the internet), is not part of this core module. Other offences which are committed via cyberspace (such as harassment) are also not covered by the existing questions. However, supplementary modules of questions are included in the survey in an attempt to better understand the nature of these newer types of crime. In addition, methodological work is ongoing to explore the feasibility of adding questions to the core module to cover newer types of crime2.

The survey is based on a sample of the population, and therefore estimates have a margin of quantifiable (and non quantifiable) error associated with them. The latter includes: when respondents have recalled crimes in the reference period that actually occurred outside that period (‘telescoping’); and crimes that did occur in the reference period that were not mentioned at all (either because respondents failed to recall a fairly trivial incident or, conversely, because they did not want to disclose an incident, such as a domestic assault). Some may have said they reported a crime to the police when they did not (a ‘socially desirable’ response); and, some incidents reported during the interview could be miscoded (‘interviewer/coder error’).

In 2009, the CSEW was extended to cover children aged 10 to 15, and this release also incorporates results from this element of the survey. The main analysis and commentary however is restricted to adults and households due to the long time series for which comparable data are available.

The CSEW has a nationally representative sample of around 35,000 adults and 3,000 children (aged 10 to 15 years) per year. The response rates for the survey in 2013/14 were 75% and 68% respectively. The survey is weighted to adjust for possible non-response bias and to ensure the sample reflects the profile of the general population. For more details of the methodology see the CSEW technical report.

Police recorded crime and other sources of crime statistics

Police recorded crime figures are supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police, via the Home Office to ONS. The coverage of police recorded crime statistics is defined by the Notifiable Offence List3, which includes a broad range of offences, from murder to minor criminal damage, theft and public order offences. However, there are some, mainly less serious offences, that are excluded from the recorded crime collection. These ‘non-notifiable’ crimes include many incidents that might generally be considered to be anti-social behaviour but that may also be crimes in law (including by-laws) such as littering, begging and drunkenness. Other non-notifiable offences include driving under the influence of alcohol, parking offences and TV licence evasion. These offences are not covered in either of the main two series and are separately reported on in this release to provide additional context.

Police recorded crime is the primary source of sub-national crime statistics and for crime types where only a relatively low volume of crimes are experienced. It covers people (including, for example, residents of institutions and tourists as well as the resident population) and sectors (for example commercial crime) excluded from the CSEW sample. Recorded crime has a wider coverage of offences, for example covering homicide, sexual offences, and crimes without a specific, identifiable victim (referred to as ‘Other crimes against society’) not included in the main CSEW crime count. Police recorded crime also provides good measures of well-reported crimes but does not cover any crimes that are not reported to or discovered by the police. It is also affected by changes in reporting and recording practices. Like any administrative data, police recorded crime will be affected by the rules governing the recording of data, by the systems in place, and by operational decisions in respect of the allocation of resources.

As well as the main police recorded crime series, there are additional collections providing detail on offences involving the use of knives and firearms, which are too low in volume to be measured reliably by the CSEW.

This quarterly statistical bulletin also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture. These include incidents of anti-social behaviour recorded by the police (which fall outside the coverage of notifiable offences), non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts (again outside the coverage of recorded crime or the CSEW), crime reports from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the results of the 2012 and 2013 Commercial Victimisation Surveys (based on a nationally representative sample of business premises in six industrial sectors).

More details of these sources can be found in the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales. Information on UK and international comparisons can be found in the International and UK comparisons section.

Strengths and limitations of the CSEW and police recorded crime

Crime Survey for England and Wales

Police recorded crime

Strengths

Strengths

Large nationally representative sample survey which provides a good measure of long-term trends for the crime types and the population it covers (that is, those resident in households)

Consistent methodology over time

Covers crimes not reported to the police and is not affected by changes in police recording practice; is therefore a reliable measure of long term trends

Coverage of survey extended in 2009 to include children aged 10 to 15 resident in households

Independent collection of crime figures

Has wider offence coverage and population coverage than the CSEW

Good measure of offences that are well-reported to the police

Is the primary source of local crime statistics and for lower-volume crimes (e.g. homicide)

Provides whole counts (rather than estimates that are subject to sampling variation)

Time lag between occurrence of crime and reporting results tends to be short, providing an indication of emerging trends

Limitations

Limitations

Survey is subject to error associated with sampling and respondents recalling past events

Excludes crimes against businesses and those not resident in households (e.g. residents of institutions and visitors) 

Headline estimates exclude offences that are difficult to estimate robustly (such as sexual offences) or that have no victim who can be interviewed (e.g. homicides, and drug offences)

Excludes fraud and cyber crime

Excludes offences that are not reported to, or not recorded by, the police and does not include less serious offences dealt with by magistrates courts (e.g. motoring offences)

Trends can be influenced by changes in recording practices or police activity

Not possible to make long-term comparisons due to fundamental changes in recording practice introduced in 1998 and 2002/034

There are concerns about the quality of recording – crimes may not be recorded consistently across police forces and so the true level of recorded crime may be understated

 

Notes for Data sources – coverage and coherence

  1. For more detailed information, see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13'.

  2. For more information, see ‘Discussion paper on the coverage of crime statistics’.

  3. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (offences which could be tried at a crown court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.

  4. See Section 3.3 of the User Guide.

Accuracy of the Statistics

Being based on a sample survey, CSEW estimates are subject to a margin of error. Unless stated otherwise, all changes in CSEW estimates described in the main text are statistically significant at the 5% level. Since the CSEW estimates are based upon a sample survey, it is good practice to publish confidence intervals alongside them; these provide a measure of the reliability of the estimates. Details of where these are published, including further information on statistical significance can be found in Chapter 8 of the User Guide.

Police recorded crime figures are a by-product of a live administrative system which is continually being updated as incidents are logged as crimes and subsequently investigated. Some incidents initially recorded as crime may on further investigation be found not to be a crime (described as being ‘no crimed’). Other justifications for a previously recorded crime being ‘no crimed’ include, among others, an incident being recorded in error, or transferred to another force. Some offences may change category, for example from theft to robbery (for further details of the process involved from recording a crime to production of statistics see Section 3.2 of the User Guide). The police return provisional figures to the Home Office on a monthly basis and each month they may supply revised totals for months that have previously been supplied. The Home Office Statistics Unit undertake a series of validation checks on receipt of the data and query outliers with forces who may then re-submit data. Details of these validation checks are given in Section 3.3 of the User Guide and the differences in data published between the current and preceeding publications can be found in Table QT1a (220 Kb Excel sheet) .

Police recording practice is governed by the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) and the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). The HOCR have existed in one form or another since the 1920s with some substantial changes in 1998.

The NCRS was introduced in April 2002 following a critical report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2000 (Povey, 2000) which showed there was a problem with differing interpretation of the HOCR that resulted in inconsistent recording practices across forces.

The Audit Commission carried out regular independent audits of police data quality between 2003/04 and 2006/07. In their final assessment published in September 2007 (Audit Commission, 2007) they commented that “The police have continued to make significant improvements in crime recording performance and now have better quality crime data than ever before”.

However, both the UK Statistics Authority (2010) and the National Statistician (2011) have highlighted concerns about the absence of such periodic audits. A HMIC quality review in 2009 into the way in which police forces record most serious violence (which at the time was part of a central Government target) found some variation in recording which they partly attributed to the lack of independent monitoring of crime records. In line with a recommendation by the National Statistician, HMIC carried out a review of police crime and incident reports in all forces in England and Wales during 2011 (HMIC, 2012) and they are currently undertaking a national inspection of Crime Data Integrity which will report in full later in 2014.

Analysis published by ONS in January 2013 (175.4 Kb Pdf) used a ‘comparable’ sub-set of offences covered by both the CSEW and police recorded crime in order to compare the relationship between the two series. This analysis showed that between 2002/03 and 2006/07 the reduction in the volume of crime measured by the two series was similar, but between 2006/07 and 2011/12 the gap between the two series widened with the police recorded crime series showing a faster rate of reduction. One possible explanation for this is a gradual erosion of compliance with the NCRS, such that a growing number of crimes reported to the police are not being captured in crime recording systems. For more details see the ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime trends’ methodological note.

Statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to currently meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics.

Additionally, as part of a recent inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) into crime statistics allegations of under-recording of crime by the police have been made. In the PASC inquiry referenced above the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, outlined how HMIC would be undertaking an inspection of the integrity of police recorded crime during 2014. Findings of the ongoing inspections of crime recording processes and practices will help provide further information on the level of compliance across England and Wales.

An interim report on progress and emerging findings was published in May 2014 based on results from the first 13 forces inspected. HMIC’s inspection methodology involves audits of a sample of reports of crime received either through incidents reported by the public, crimes directly reported to a police crime bureau, and those reports referred by other agencies directly to specialist departments within a force. HMIC’s aim is to check whether correct crime recording decisions are made in each case. Interim findings include samples from two of the largest forces (Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police) and they cover 60% of the overall number of incidents to be sampled for the whole inspection across all 43 territorial police forces. Based on these findings HMIC raised serious concerns in relation to:

  • Significant under-recording of crime such that, if the emerging findings were reflected across all forces and all crime types, it is implied that 20% of crimes may be going unrecorded (though HMIC observed that some forces performed better than others);

  • cases where some serious sexual offences were not being recorded; and,

  • weak management and supervision of crime recording in some police forces.

Crime Data Integrity Force Reports for 21 police forces were published on 28 August 2014, detailing the findings of each force’s inspection and recommendations for improving the accuracy of the data. These will be followed by reports for the remaining forces and HMIC’s final inspection report, based on inspections in all 43 territorial police forces, being published towards the end of 2014.

Further evidence suggesting that there has been a recent improvement in compliance with the NCRS can be seen from updated analysis comparing trends in the CSEW and police recorded crime (see section 4.2 of the User Guide). This shows that the gap between the two series is narrowing, this would suggest that improvements to recording practices may be partly responsible for increases in recorded crime.

Interpreting data on police recorded crime

The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording means that caution is needed when interpreting statistics on police recorded crime. While we know that it is likely that improvements in compliance with the NCRS have led to increases in the number of crimes recorded by the police it is not possible to quantify the scale of this or assess how this effect varied between different police forces. While police recorded crime for England and Wales as a whole has remained at a similar level when compared with the previous year, some crime types have shown increases and 18 police forces have recorded overall increases in levels of crime.

Apparent increases in police force area data may reflect a number of factors including tightening of recording practice, increases in reporting by victims and also genuine increases in the levels of crime1.

It is thought that incidents of violence are more open to subjective judgements about recording and thus more prone to changes in police practice. A number of forces have also shown large increases in sexual offences which are likely to be due to the Yewtree effect, although improved compliance with recording standards for sexual offences may also have been a factor. In contrast, anecdotal evidence suggests that increases in shoplifting are more likely to represent a genuine rise in that type of offence. Ministry of Justice statistics also show a recent rise in the number of offenders being prosecuted for shoplifting at Magistrates courts.

Notes for Accuracy of the Statistics

  1. For further information on possible explanations of increasing police recorded crime levels see Chapter 3 of the User Guide.

Users of Crime Statistics

There is significant interest in crime statistics and a diverse range of users. These include elected national and local representatives (such as MPs, Police and Crime Commissioners and local councillors), police forces, those delivering support or services to victims of crime, lobby groups, journalists, academic researchers, teachers and students.

These statistics are used by central and local government and the police service for planning and monitoring service delivery and for resource allocation. The statistics are also used to inform public debate about crime and the public policy response to it. Further information about the uses of crime statistics is available in the Crime Statistics Quality and Methodology Information report.

International and UK comparisons

There are currently no recognised international standards for crime recording and international comparisons are limited due to the differing legal systems which underpin crime statistics and processes for collecting and recording crimes.

Crimes recorded by the police

The system for recording crime in England and Wales by the police is widely recognised by international standards to be one of the best in the world. Few other jurisdictions have attempted to develop such a standardised approach to crime recording and some of those that have base their approach on the England and Wales model (for example, Australia, Northern Ireland). Thus, it is difficult to make international comparisons of levels of recorded crime given the lack of consistency in definitions, legal systems and police/criminal justice recording practices.

The legal system in Northern Ireland is based on that of England and Wales and the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) has the same notifiable offence list for recorded crime as used in England and Wales. In addition, the PSNI has adopted the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime that applies in England and Wales. Thus there is broad comparability between the recorded crime statistics in Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

However, recorded crime statistics for England and Wales are not directly comparable with those in Scotland. The recorded crime statistics for Scotland are collected on the basis of the Scottish Crime Recording Standard, which was introduced in 2004. Like its counterpart in England and Wales, it aims to give consistency in crime recording. The main principles of the Scottish Crime Recording Standard itself are similar to the National Crime Recording Standard for England/Wales with regard to when a crime should be recorded.

However, there are differences between the respective counting rules. For example, the ‘Principal Crime Rule’ in England and Wales states that if a sequence of crimes in an incident, or alternatively a complex crime, contains more than one crime type, then the most serious crime should be counted. For example, an incident where an intruder breaks into a home and assaults the sole occupant would be recorded as two crimes in Scotland, while in England and Wales it would be recorded as one crime.

Differences in legislation and common law have also to be taken into account when comparing the crime statistics for England/Wales and Scotland.

Victimisation surveys

A number of countries run their own national victimisation surveys and they all broadly follow a similar model to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in attempting to obtain information from a representative sample of the population resident in households about their experience of criminal victimisation. The US National Crime and Victimisation Survey (NCVS) is the longest running, being established in 1973 and there are similar surveys in other countries including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand. However, while these surveys have a similar objective they are not conducted using a standard methodology. Sampling (frames and of households/individuals) and modes of interview (for example face to face interviewing, telephone interviewing, self-completion via the web) differ, as do the crime reference periods (last five years, last 12 months, last calendar year) over which respondents are asked about their victimisation experience. Similarly, there is a lack of standardisation in question wording and order. Response rates vary considerably across the world, as do methods to adjust for any resulting possible non-response bias; therefore, it becomes extremely difficult to make valid comparisons between the surveys.

There have been attempts in the past to run international surveys on a standard basis and the International Crime and Victimisation Survey (ICVS) was initiated by a group of European criminologists with expertise in national crime surveys. The survey aimed to produce estimates of victimisation that could be used for international comparisons. The first survey was run in 1989 and was repeated in 1992, 1996 and 2004/5. All surveys were based upon a 2,000 sample of the population, and in most countries, surveys were carried out with computer-assisted telephone interviewing. A pilot ICVS-2, intended to test alternative and cheaper modes of data collection including self-completion via the web, was carried out in a limited number of countries in 2010.

However, despite the attempt to obtain a standardised and comparable approach to all of the surveys, this was never successfully achieved. While a standard questionnaire was employed in all countries, alongside a standard mode of interviewing, important differences remained in the approach to sampling, translation of questions into different national languages, interview lengths and response rates which make comparisons problematic.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own separate victimisation surveys that, like the CSEW, complement their recorded crime figures.

The Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS) closely mirrors the format and content of the CSEW employing a very similar methodology with continuous interviewing, a face to face interview with nationally representative sample of adults (16 years and over) using a similar set of questions. Thus results from the two surveys are broadly comparable.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) also follows a similar format to the CSEW, having a shared antecedence in the British Crime Survey (whose sample during some rounds of the survey in the 1980s covered Scotland, south of the Caledonian Canal). There are differences in the crimes/offence classifications to reflect the differing legal systems but the results from the surveys are broadly comparable

List of products

The following are URL links associated with the production of Crime Statistics.

  1. Crime statistics publications on the Home Office website

  2. Historic police recorded crime

  3. Previous quarterly publication

  4. User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales

  5. Guide to Finding Crime Statistics

  6. The 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales Technical Report Volume 1

  7. Analysis of Variation in Crime Trends (methodological note)

  8. Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses

  9. Methodological note: Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales

  10. ‘Focus on Public Perceptions of Policing, 2011/12’ (published 29 November 2012)

  11. ‘Short story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12’ (published 11 April 2013)

  12. ‘Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13’ (published 28 November 2013)

  13. ‘An overview of hate crime in England and Wales’ (published 17 December 2013)

  14. ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’ (published 13 February 2014)

  15. National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics

  16. 'Focus on: Victimisation and Public Perceptions, 2012/13' (published 30 May 2014)

  17. Methodological note: Presentational and methodological improvements to National Statistics on the Crime Survey for England and Wales

Anonymised datasets from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (in SPSS format) currently are available on:

In addition to these National Statistics releases, provisional police recorded crime data drawn from local management information systems sit behind, street level figures released each month, via:

Police recorded crime, street level mapping tool.

Crime Statistics for Scotland are available from the Scottish Government.

Crime Statistics for Northern Ireland are available from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

References

Audit Commission, 2007, Police data quality 2006/07: ‘Improving data quality to make places safer in England and Wales’

British Retail Consortium, 2013, ‘Policies & Issues: Retail Crime’

CIFAS, 2014, ‘CIFAS members’

Department for Transport, 2014, ‘Vehicle licensing statistics, 2013’

Durham Constabulary, 2014, ‘Over 230 new calls to Medomsley detectives’

Financial Fraud Action UK, 2014, ‘Fraud The Facts 2014’

Evening Standard, 2013, 'Bike mugger phone thefts in London soar to 3,754 in a year'

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC), 2013, ‘Provisional Monthly Hospital Episode Statistics for Admitted Patient Care, Outpatients and Accident and Emergency Data – April 2012 to March 2013’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2012a, ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2012b, ‘The crime scene: A review of police crime and incident reports’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2013a, ‘Crime recording in Kent – A report commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2013b, ‘Mistakes were made: HMIC’s review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2014a, ‘Crime recording: A matter of fact’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2014b, ‘Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), 2012, ‘Forging the links: Rape investigation and prosecution’

Home Affairs Committee, 2013 ‘Counter Terrorism: Evidence heard in Public Questions 234-397’

Home Office, 2012, ‘Guidance on the offence of buying scrap metal for cash’

Home Office, 2013a, ‘Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’

Home Office, 2013b, ‘Metal theft, England and Wales, financial year ending March 2013’

Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Office for National Statistics, 2013, ‘An overview of sexual offending in England and Wales’

Home Office, 2014a, ‘Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2013 to 2014 Crime Survey for England and Wales’

Home Office, 2014b, ‘Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey’

Home Office, 2014c, ‘Crime against businesses: Headline findings from the 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey’

Home Office, 2014d, ‘Police powers and procedures England and Wales 2012/13’

Home Office, 2014e, ‘Hate Crimes in England and Wales, 2013/14’

Metropolitan Police, 2014, ‘Commission of an independent review into rape investigation’

Millard, B. and Flatley, J. (Eds), ‘Experimental statistics on victimisation of children aged 10 to 15: Findings from the British Crime Survey for the year ending December 2009’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/11

Ministry of Justice, 2014, ‘Criminal justice statistics quarterly update to March 2014'

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 2014a, ‘Sexual abuse of under 11s: reports to police rise 16% in 2012-13’

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 2014b, ‘Savile’s victims: barriers to reporting sexual abuse still exist’

National Statistician, 2011, ‘National Statistician’s Review of crime statistics for England and Wales’

Nottingham Post, 2013, ‘Nottingham Co-op stores to get tough on shoplifters’

Office for National Statistics, 2012, ‘Trends in crime – A short story 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2013a, ‘Analysis of variation in crime trends: A study of trends in ‘comparable crime’ categories between the Crime Survey of England and Wales and the police recorded crime series between 1981 and 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2013b, ‘Crime Statistics, period ending June 2013’

Office for National Statistics, 2013c, ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2013d, ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’

Office for National Statistics, 2013e, ‘Future dissemination strategy: Summary of responses’

Office for National Statistics, 2013f, ‘Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime implemented in ‘Crime in England and Wales, year ending March 2013’

Office for National Statistics, 2013g, ‘Short Story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2014a, ‘Action Plan to address requirements from UK statistics authority assessment – Progress update’

Office for National Statistics, 2014b, ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’

Office for National Statistics, 2014c, ‘Crime Statistics Quality and Methodology Information’

Office for National Statistics, 2014c, ‘User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales’

Office for National Statistics, 2014d, ‘Discussion paper on the coverage of crime statistics’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2013, ‘Crime Statistics, HC760: Evidence heard, Questions 1-135’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2014a, ‘Caught red handed: Why we can’t count on police recorded crime statistics’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2014b, ‘Crime Statistics, HC760: Evidence heard, Questions 284-462’

Sivarajasingam, V., Wells, J.P., Moore, S., Page, N. and Shepherd, J.P., 2014, ‘Violence in England and Wales in 2013: An Accident and Emergency Perspective’

Smith, K., Osborne, S., Lau, I. and Britton, A., 2012, ‘Homicides, firearm offences and intimate violence 2010 to 2011: supplementary volume 2 to crime in England and Wales 2010/11’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 2011/12

The Guardian, 2014, ‘Rise in female shoplifters linked to benefit cuts, say police’

TNS BMRB, 2013, ‘The 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales: Technical Report, Volume One’

UK Cards Association, 2012, ‘Plastic fraud figures’

UK Statistics Authority, 2014a, ‘Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics: Statistics on Crime in England and Wales’UK Statistics Authority, 2014b, ‘Types of official statistics’

UK Statistics Authority, 2014b, ‘Types of official statistics’

Background notes

  1. The Crime in England and Wales quarterly releases are produced in partnership with the Home Office who collate and quality assure the police recorded crime data presented in the bulletins. Home Office colleagues also quality assurance the overall content of the bulletin.

  2. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

  3. Next quarterly publication: 22 January 2015.

    Future thematic report due to be published:

    Focus on Property Crime: 27 November 2014

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    Media contact:

    Tel: Luke Croydon  0845 6041858
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    Statistical contact:

    Contact Name:  John Flatley
    Tel: +44 (0)207 592 8695
    Email: crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
    Website: www.ons.gov.uk

  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
John Flatley +44 (0)2075 928695 Office for National Statistics crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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