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Release: Crime Statistics, period ending March 2013

Released: 18 July 2013 Next edition: 17 October 2013


John Flatley

Crime, Regional and Data Access Division

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7592 8695

Categories: Crime, Crime and Justice, Crime Trends, Crime in England and Wales, Violent and Sexual Crime, Property Crime, Drug Crime, Victims of Crime, Criminal Damage and Anti-Social Behaviour, Justice, Attitudes to Policing, Public Attitudes and Experiences

Frequency of release: Quarterly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Local Authority and County

Survey name(s): Crime Survey for England and Wales

  • Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate that there were 8.6 million crimes in England and Wales, based on interviews with a representative sample of households and resident adults in the year ending March 2013. This represents a 9% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey. This latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981 and is now less than half its peak level in 1995.

  • The CSEW also estimated that there were an additional 0.8 million crimes against children aged 10 to 15 resident in the household population.

  • The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending March 2013, a decrease of 7% compared with the previous year. This is the lowest level since 2002/03 when the last major change in police recording practice was introduced.

  • Victim-based crime accounted for 83% of all police recorded crime (3.1 million offences) and fell by 9% in the year ending March 2013 compared with the previous year. The volume of offences recorded in this category is equivalent to 55 recorded offences per 1,000 population.

  • Other crimes against society recorded by the police (402,615 offences) showed a decrease of 10% compared with the previous year.

  • In the year ending March 2013, 229,018 fraud offences were recorded by the police. This represents a volume increase of 27% compared with the previous year and should be seen in the context of a move to centralised recording of fraud.

  • Within victim-based crime there were decreases across all the main categories of recorded crime compared with the previous year, except for theft from the person (up 9%) and sexual offences (1% increase). The latter increase is thought to be partly a ‘Yewtree effect’, whereby greater numbers of victims of sexual offences have come forward to report historical offences to the police.

  • There were an additional 1.0 million offences dealt with by the courts in the year ending December 2012 (the latest period for which data are available), which are not included in the police recorded crime figures. These cover less serious crimes, such as speeding offences, which are dealt with no higher than magistrates courts.

Further data published as part of this release

A further set of supplementary tables providing sub-national breakdowns of police recorded crime data at Community Safety Partnership level were released on 2 August 2013.

Other Useful Information

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two different sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, previously known as the British Crime Survey) and police recorded crime.

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. For the crime types and population groups it covers, the CSEW provides a more reliable measure of trends in crime than police recorded crime statistics, as it has a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity.

Police recorded crime data are supplied to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by the Home Office, who are responsible for the collation of recorded crime data supplied by police forces in England and Wales. Recorded crime figures are an important indicator of police workload. They can be used for analysis of crime at a local level and provide a good measure of trends in well-reported crimes.

Following the Home Secretary’s acceptance of the recommendations of the National Statistician’s Review of crime statistics in June 2011 the collation and publication of crime statistics moved to the ONS on 1 April 2012. For previous publications please see the Home Office web-pages.

Following the transfer, ONS developed proposals for the future dissemination of crime statistics, with the aim of improving the presentation for users and providing a clearer picture of crime. A consultation which ran at the end of 2012 set out proposed changes to the content of regular crime statistics outputs and a summary response to the consultation was published in January 2013. As a result several changes have been implemented in this bulletin, including re-classifying some elements of the police recorded crime data series.

For information on how to interpret the crime statistics please see the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales.

For advance warning of future changes to the police recorded crime collection see methodological note.

Crime Statistics Advisory Committee

In line with the National Statistician’s recommendations an independent Crime Statistics Advisory Committee has also been formed to provide advice on issues related to the collection and presentation of these statistics. Please see the UK Statistics Authority website for further information and minutes of meetings.

Further sources of police recorded crime data

Historic police recorded crime data tables can be found on the Home Office web-pages.

Police forces publish provisional recorded crime data at street level on the police website (The Office for National Statistics is not responsible for the content of this website).

Further survey information

A technical report is available providing information on CSEW survey design, weighting and survey response. The latest report is the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2011-12 technical report.  

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

Researchers, including students, who need data for dissertations or practical work can use these datasets.

See the following websites for the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey and the Northern Ireland Crime Survey.


If you have any queries regarding crime statistics for England and Wales please email

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.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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