Skip to content

Chapter 1 - Overview of Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2012/13 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 13 February 2014 Download PDF

Summary

In accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics1. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) continue to be badged as National Statistics.

This overview covers violent crime recorded by the CSEW and police recorded crime. It presents some of the data contained within the nature of crime tables published alongside this release. It also includes estimates of the likelihood of being a victim of violent crime by demographic breakdowns.

  • Between the 1995 and the 2001/02 surveys, the number of violent crime incidents fell, from 4.2 million in 1995 to 2.7 million in 2001/02. There has been a general trend over the last decade where the CSEW has seen a period of modest annual decreases (though often not large enough to be statistically significant year on year). However, the estimated number of violent incidents has decreased by 13% between the 2007/08 survey and the 2012/13 survey. The CSEW showed a non-statistically significant 6% decrease in 2012/13 compared with the previous year.

  • In the 2012/13 CSEW assault without injury accounted for the largest proportion of all CSEW violent incidents (37%), followed by assault with minor injury (28%), wounding (25%), and robbery (11%).

  • In 1995 (when crime was at its peak) 5.3% of adults aged 16 and over were a victim of violent crime compared with the 2012/13 CSEW where the victimisation rate was less than half the rate in 1995 (2.6%).

  • When violent crime was at the peak in 1995, 68% of incidents were experienced by repeat victims. In the 2012/13 CSEW, 55% of violent crime incidents were experienced by repeat victims.

  • Analysis shows that, age, long standing illness or disability, marital status, sex and the number of evening visits to a nightclub in the last month were the characteristics that contributed most to explaining the likelihood of violence victimisation in the 2012/13 CSEW.

  • In the 2012/13 CSEW 45% of adult victims of violent incidents said that the police came to know about the matter, similar to the proportions estimated since the 2002/03 survey (41%).

Notes for summary:

1. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.

Introduction

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime together span the range of violent crimes and sexual offences. The CSEW covers crimes against the population of England and Wales resident in households, and crimes against those households, it provides a good measure of the volume of violent crime offences. It does not include some crimes recorded by the police such as crimes against the commercial or business sector or the population not resident in households, such as tourists or visitors. The CSEW also covers a narrower range of offences than police recorded violence, as it does not include homicides or sexual offences in its overall count of violent incidents. As the survey is able to capture all offences experienced by respondents, not just those incidents that have been reported to or recorded by the police, reported volumes are higher than those included in the police recorded crime collection. In 2009, the CSEW was extended to cover children aged 10 to 15, and, where appropriate, data are included for this age group.

Violent crime covers a wide range of offences, from minor assaults such as pushing and shoving that result in no physical harm through to serious incidents of wounding and homicide. Robbery, an offence in which violence or the threat of violence is used during a theft (or attempted theft), is not included in the police recorded violence against the person offence group but reported as a separate stand-alone category. It is, however, currently included within CSEW violence. Following a recent consultation with users, robbery will in future be presented as a stand-alone category for both police recorded crime and the CSEW.

Police recorded crime includes notifiable offences that have been reported to and recorded by the police. These figures 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 List1, which includes a broad range of offences, from homicide to minor criminal damage, theft and public order offences.

Since the last ‘Focus on: Violent crime and sexual offences’ publication, the summary categories used to present police recorded crime data in ONS publications have been revised. These changes have not affected the coverage of offences in the police recorded crime series, and have been restricted to movement of offences across categories. As part of the re-classification work, homicide is now presented as a separate sub-category of violence against the person. The re-classification work has also involved moving selected offences into different groups to better reflect the nature of the offences. For example, some offences relating to the possession of weapons and the offence of ‘Public fear, alarm or distress’, where there is no identifiable victim, were moved from ‘Violence against the person without injury’ to new, more appropriate, sub-categories within ‘Other crimes against society’ namely ‘Possession of weapons offences’ and ‘Public order offences’. Thus breakdowns of offences shown within this bulletin or in the associated tables will differ from those published in last year’s Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’ publication. Further detail of the changes can be found in the: Methodological note: Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales.

Notes for Introduction

  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

Extent of Violent Crime

The 2012/13 CSEW estimates that there were 1.9 million violent incidents against adults in England and Wales1. Figure 1.1 shows that, assault without injury2 accounted for the largest proportion of all CSEW violent incidents (37%), followed by assault with minor injury3 (28%), wounding4 (25%), and robbery5 (11%). 

Figure 1.1: Types of violent crime, 2012/13 CSEW (1)

Figure 1.1: Types of violent crime, 2012/13 CSEW (1)

Notes:

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

Download chart

The CSEW also estimates crimes against children. These are based on a ‘preferred measure’ that takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incident such as the relationship of the victim to the offender and the level of injury to the victim6. The 2012/13 CSEW estimated there were 465,000 violent offences against children aged 10 to 15 in England and Wales in the previous 12 months. This equates to 6.1% of children being a victim of violent crime in the past year; with 4.2% having experienced violence with injury (Table 23a, Year ending March 2013). These data are not directly comparable with the proportions of adults who experienced violent crime. For a further discussion of the relationship between the adults’ and 10 to 15s’ surveys see Section 2.4 of Millard and Flatley, 2010. Age of victims is not available from the aggregate returns that make up the police recorded crime series.

There were 601,134 offences of violence against the person recorded by the police in 2012/13. Of these, 312,076 were violence with injury and the remaining 288,506 offences grouped as violence without injury. Over half of violence without injury offences were classified as assaults without injury7 (69%), with the remainder covering a range of offences, including harassments8 ( Appendix table A4, Year ending March 2013 (468 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Notes for Extent of Violent Crime

  1. 'All violence' includes wounding, assault with minor injury, assault without injury and robbery. For more information see Chapter 5.1 of the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales.
  2. Assault without injury is an incident (or attempt) where the victim was punched, kicked, pushed or jostled but resulted in no injury.
  3. Assault with minor injury is an incident where the victim was punched, kicked, pushed or jostled and the incident resulted in minor injury to the victim, for example, scratches or bruises.
  4. Wounding is where the incident results in severe or less serious injury, for example, cuts, severe bruising, chipped teeth, bruising or scratches resulting in medical attention or any more serious injury.
  5. Robbery, an incident in which violence or the threat of violence is used during a theft or attempted theft, is included within overall CSEW violence but not in police recorded violence where it is reported on its own as a separate category.
  6. See Chapter 2.5 of the User Guide for further information on the ‘preferred measure’.
  7. Assault without injury offences are those where at the most a feeling of touch or passing moment of pain is experienced by the victim.
  8. Harassment offences are those incidents where no other substantive notifiable offence exists, but when looked at as a course of conduct are likely to cause fear, alarm or distress.

Summary of Homicides, Weapons and Intimate Personal Violence (IPV) Analysis

The following sections provide a short summary of the analysis conducted in the remaining chapters of this publication on homicides, weapons and IPV covered in greater detail in the publication.

Homicide

There are two sources of homicide1 data; the Home Office Homicide Index and the main recorded crime data return. The Homicide Index is a record level dataset of every homicide that takes place in England and Wales. It is continually updated with revised information from the police and the courts and, as such, is a richer source of data than the main recorded crime dataset. Data presented in this publication are taken from a snapshot of the Homicide Index, frozen on 8 November 2013, while homicide data presented in the regular quarterly bulletins are sourced from the main recorded crime return and regarded as correct at the time of presentation. Due to the different sources, figures presented here differ slightly from those presented in recent quarterly bulletins.

The Homicide Index shows that in 2012/13 there were 551 currently recorded2 homicides in England and Wales. This is 21 more than the 530 recorded in 2011/12 (an increase of 4%). Over recent years, the number of ‘currently recorded’ homicides has shown a general downward trend, the numbers for 2012/13 (551) and 2011/12 (530) being the lowest since 1989 (521).

Homicide figures may be compared with other causes of death; figures for 20123 show that more people were killed as a result of falls (3,790), intentional self-harm (3,671), and transport accidents (1,662). Fewer were killed by exposure to smoke fire and flames (193) or accidental drowning or submersion (196).

For further information on homicide see the ‘Homicide‘ chapter of this publication.

Offences involving firearms

Due to the serious nature of offences involving weapons, additional information is supplied by the police to the Home Office where firearms or knives and sharp instruments have been used. Offences relating to firearms are those where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument (hitting a victim with the weapon) or as a threat. Figures in this publication include air weapons offences, which are excluded from the provisional estimates released in Crime statistics, period ending March 2013.

Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 the total number of firearm offences fell by 15% from 9,532 to 8,135 with both air weapon and non-air weapon offences showing similar proportional decreases.

For further details on firearm offences see the ‘Recorded Offences Involving the use of Weapons’ chapter of this publication.

Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

For the selected offences4 where additional data on the use of knives or sharp instruments5 are collected, the police recorded 26,340 in 2012/13. This represents a 15% decrease on the previous year when 31,147 offences were recorded. The Homicide Index shows that 194 of these offences were homicides. Of the 26,340 offences, 50% were robbery, 43% were actual/grievous bodily harm, 4% were threats to kill and 2% were rape, sexual assault and attempted murder offences. Overall the proportion of the selected offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument in 2012/13 was 6% compared with 7% in 2011/12.

For further information see the ‘Recorded Offences Involving the use of Weapons’ chapter of this publication.

Sexual Offences

The number of police recorded sexual offences in the year to March 2012/13 showed a 1% increase compared with 2011/12. However more recent publications including Crime Statistics, year ending September 2013 have shown a substantial increase in the number of sexual offences recorded by the police. The most recent figure for the year ending September 2013 shows a 17% increase in the number of police recorded sexual offences compared with the previous year. There is evidence to suggest that recent increases are partly a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation, initiated in October 2012 and connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry. While some of the increases will be a direct consequence of the crimes reported as part of Operation Yewtree there is also evidence to suggest that there has been a wider “Yewtree effect”6 whereby there is increased willingness on the part of the victims to come forward and report historical sexual offences that are not directly connected to Yewtree. Additionally the publicity surrounding Operation Yewtree may have encouraged more victims to come forward and report more recent sexual offences cases.

Further evidence that the increase in police recorded sexual offences is a result of a ‘Yewtree Effect’ comes from the 2012/13 CSEW. In the year to March 2013 the self-completion section of the CSEW showed a small but statistically significant decrease in number of sexual offences compared with the previous 2011/12 survey. Since incidents reported in the survey are unlikely to have been affected by Operation Yewtree, or the publicity surrounding it, the decrease suggests that sexual offences recorded by the police would not have been increasing at their current rate if it were not for the effects of Operation Yewtree.

More information on sexual offending in 2011/12 from across the crime and criminal justice system can be found in ‘An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales’, a joint publication compiled by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office for National Statistics. Key findings included:

  • Around 90% of victims of the most serious sexual offences in the previous year knew the perpetrator, compared with less than half for other sexual offences;

  • Frequently cited reasons for not reporting the crime were that it was ‘embarrassing’, they ‘didn’t think the police could do much to help’, that the incident was ‘too trivial or not worth reporting’, or that they saw it as a ‘private/family matter and not police business’; and

  • While the sanction detection7 rate for sexual offences (30%) was higher than for a number of other offences, such as robbery (21%) and burglary (13%), it was lower than other contact crimes such as violence against the person (44%). This may reflect the greater challenges associated with investigating sexual offences and the reluctance of some victims to proceed with prosecutions.

Domestic violence and intimate personal violence

Intimate violence is a collective term used to refer to a number of different forms of physical and non-physical abuse consisting of partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking. It is difficult to obtain reliable information on the extent of intimate violence as there is a degree of under-reporting of these incidents, affecting both the CSEW and police recorded crime figures.

Due to the sensitivity of questions on intimate violence and the level of underestimation, a separate self-completion module is included in the CSEW which asks 16 to 59 year old respondents about their experience of intimate violence. It is important to note that this module of the CSEW asks questions on the wider topic of domestic abuse rather than domestic violence, with only 9% of respondents who reported being victims of domestic abuse in the last 12 months in the self-completion module also saying they had been victims of domestic violence in the face-to-face interviews in 2012/13. The difference between the two estimates is likely to be due to both the wider definition of domestic abuse8 as well as under-reporting.

In the last year, 7.1% of women and 4.4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse9, equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female victims and 700,000 male victims. There was no statistically significant change in the level of domestic abuse experienced in the last year between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 surveys.

For more information see the ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter of this publication.

As well as questions on experience of intimate violence, the CSEW self completion module also includes a set of questions asking victims for further details about the nature of the incidents they experienced. These questions focus in alternate years on partner abuse or sexual assault. The questions in the 2012/13 CSEW focused on the nature of partner abuse. The findings on partner abuse can be found in the ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter. For more information on sexual assault see Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12.

Notes for Summary of Homicides, Weapons and Intimate Personal Violence (IPV) Analysis

  1. Homicide covers murder, manslaughter (including corporate manslaughter) and infanticide.
  2. See the ‘Homicide’ chapter for more information on ‘initially’ and ‘currently’ recorded homicides – the main police recorded crime collection initially showed 559 homicides for the same period.
  3. See Table 5.19 of Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR), 2012
  4. Seven of the more serious types of offence in the recorded crime data (homicide, threats to kill, actual and grevious bodily harm, robbery, attempted murder, rape and sexual assault) can be broken down by whether or not a knife or sharp instrument was involved.
  5. 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.
  6. See HMIC’s 2013 report ‘Mistakes were made’.
  7. Sanction detections are where offences cleared up by the police result in a formal sanction issues to an offender, These can take the form of a charge or summons, a caution, a penalty notice for disorder, or offences that are asked to be taken into consideration by a court.
  8. The self completion definition of domestic abuse includes emotional or financial abuse or threats to hurt the respondent or someone close to them.
  9. Domestic abuse includes non-physical abuse, threats, force, sexual assault or stalking carried out by a current or former partner or other family member. ‘Domestic abuse’ is not directly comparable to the main CSEW ‘domestic violence’ category.

Levels of Victimisation

The CSEW provides victimisation rates for overall violent crime and each individual crime type. Figure 1.5 shows that 2.6% of adults aged 16 and over were a victim of violent crime in the 2012/13 CSEW of which 1.0% were a victim of assault without injury, 0.7% a victim of  wounding, 0.7% a victim of assault with minor injury, and 0.4% a victim of robbery.

Victimisation rates for violent crime have fallen considerably since 1995 when crime was at its peak. In 1995 the CSEW estimated that 5.3% of adults aged 16 and over were a victim of violent crime compared with less than half that figure on the 2012/13 survey (2.6%) Victimisation rates for both assault with minor injury and assault without injury have dropped by more than half between 1995 and the 2012/13 survey, while wounding and robbery showed smaller decreases ( Appendix table A3, Year Ending March 2013 (468 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Figure 1.5: Violent crime, victimisation of adults aged 16 and over, 1995 and 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Figure 1.5: Violent crime, victimisation of adults aged 16 and over, 1995 and 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Notes:

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

Download chart

Repeat Victimisation

In 1995 when violent crime peaked, 68% of incidents were experienced by repeat victims. This is compared with 55% in the 2012/13 survey. ( Annual trend and demographic table D7, Year Ending March 2013 (359.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). This indicates that the decrease in the volume of violent crime over the same period must have been influenced more by the decrease in repeat victimisations compared with sole victimisations. Between 1995 and the 2012/13 survey the number of incidents experienced by repeat victims decreased by 65% compared with a decrease of 37% in the number of incidents experienced by sole victims. This pattern (repeated across most crime types) is an important factor when considering the drop in crime that occurred from the mid-1990s. For more information on repeat victimisation for other crime types, please see Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13.

 

Characteristics Associated with Being a Victim

The proportion of adult victims of violent crime in the 2012/13 survey varies by personal and household characteristics (a full breakdown is shown in Appendix table 1.01 (1.38 Mb Excel sheet) ). Many of the characteristics are closely associated, so caution is needed in the interpretation of these different characteristics when viewed in isolation. Separate analysis on the characteristics associated with being a victim of intimate personal violence is available in the ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter of this publication.

Figure 1.6 shows that, consistent with previous years, men were more likely to be a victim of violent crime than women (3.2% of males compared with 1.9% of females1). Also adults aged 16 to 24 were more than twice as likely to be a victim of a violent crime than any other age band, and adults who were single were more likely to be a victim of a violent crime (5.5%) than adults who were married (1.2%). Further analysis showed that one age was controlled for, single people and people who are no longer married/together were more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than those who were married.

Figure 1.6: Characteristics associated with being a victim of violence, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Figure 1.6:  Characteristics associated with being a victim of violence, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. See Section 7.3 of the User Guide for definitions of personal characteristics.

Download chart

As well as victimisation rates varying by personal characteristics, household characteristics also showed differences in the victimisation rate ( Appendix table 1.02 (1.38 Mb Excel sheet) ). Private renters were more likely to be a victim of a violent crime (4.2%) than social renters (3.5%) and home owners (1.8%), and adults in urban areas (2.8%) were more likely to be a victim than those in rural areas (1.8%). A full breakdown of the likelihood of being a victim of violent crime by household characteristics is shown in Appendix table 1.02. Many of the characteristics will be closely associated, so caution is needed in the interpretation of the effect of these different characteristics when viewed in isolation.

Further analysis using logistic regression can identify which characteristics are independently associated with an increased chance of being a victim. For example, Appendix table 1.01 (1.38 Mb Excel sheet) shows that there was little difference in the proportion of adults with and without a long-standing illness or disability being a victim of violence. However, logistic regression based on the 2012/13 CSEW shows that when taking into account differences such as older age profiles, adults with a long-standing illness or disability were more likely to be a victim of violence than those without ( Appendix table 1.05 (1.38 Mb Excel sheet) ).

The model found no area characteristics, such as levels of employment, deprivation, or living in an urban or rural area, had a strong relationship with the chance of being a victim of violence. Rather, logistic regression showed that, sex, age, long standing illness or disability, marital status and the number of evening visits to a nightclub in the last month contributed most to explaining the likelihood of violence victimisation.

The logistic regression model shows that assuming all other characteristics are constant2;

  • Males had double the odds of being a victim of violence than females.

  • Those with a long standing non-limiting illness or disability had double the odds of being a victim of violence than those with no disability.

  • Those who are no longer married/together had double the odds of being a victim of violence than those who were married or cohabiting.

  • Those who visited a nightclub once a week or more had double the odds of being a victim of violence than those who had not visited nightclubs in the last month.

For a more detailed breakdown of these figures see Appendix table 1.05 (1.38 Mb Excel sheet) . For more information on the methodology and interpretation of logistic regression presented here, see Chapter 8.4 of the User Guide.

The chance of being a victim of violent crime varied by personal characteristics for children aged 10 to 15. Boys were over twice as likely as girls to be a victim of violent crime (8.9% compared with 3.2%); and children with a long-standing illness or disability were also more likely to have been a victim as those without one (15.0% compared with 5.3%). Unlike adults, the likelihood of children aged 10 to 15 years being the victim of violent crime varied by the type of household and area they lived in. Children in high income households of £50,000 or more were less than half as likely (3.6%) to be a victim of violence as those in low income household of £10,000 to under £20,000 (9.0%). Children in rural households (4.8%) were less likely to be a victim than those in urban households (6.5%) ( Annual trend and demographic table D3, D4 (359.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Notes for Characteristics Associated with Being a Victim

  1. This pattern is difference for domestic violence and sexual violence. For more information please see the ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter of this publication.
  2. The characteristics that are italicised and have an odds ratio of 1 remain constant.

Reporting to the Police

In the 2012/13 CSEW 45% of adult victims of a violent incident said that the police came to know about the matter, similar to the proportions estimated since the 2002/03 survey (41%) ( Annual trend and demographic table D8 (359.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Figure 1.7 shows that variations occur by violence type with the police coming to know about 39% of incidents of assault with minor injury or no injury and 56% of wounding incidents, suggesting that respondents were more likely to report more serious offences to the police. For information on the reporting rates of partner abuse see the ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter of this bulletin.

Figure 1.7: Proportion of violent crime incidents reported to the police, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Figure 1.7: Proportion of violent crime incidents reported to the police, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. 'All violence' includes wounding, assault with minor injury, assault with no injury and robbery and is equivalent to comparable violence in previous publications. For more information see the User Guide.

Download chart

In the 2012/13 CSEW, 13% of violent incidents against children aged 10-15 became known to the police ( Table 4.3 Nature of Crime tables (154.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). In 50% of incidents of violence against children aged 10-15 the incident was perceived by the victim to be part of a series of bullying. Violent offences where the police came to know about the incident must, in a large number of cases, be of a different nature than bullying incidents, with a focus most likely on the most serious or harmful offences.

Timing of Violent Crimes

In the survey interview, victims of violent crime are asked about the circumstances of the incident, including when it happened. The 2012/13 CSEW showed that violence overall occurs mostly in the evening or night (61%). This also applies when split by type of injury ranging from 55% of assaults with no injury occurring in the evening or night to 75% of wounding incidents occurring in the evening or night. ( Nature of Crime table 3.3 (452 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Looking at the days of the week on which violent offences take place the timing of victimisation is similar across all types of violence. For overall violence, 54% of incidents occur during the week1 and 46% of incidents occur at the weekend2. It is likely that most of the incidents occurring at the weekend will take place on Friday or Saturday night. Wounding has a higher percentage of incidents occurring at the weekend than during the week compared to other offence types, with 58% of wounding incidents occurring during the weekend and 42% during the week. Robbery had a similar percentage of incidents occurring during the week and during the weekend, with 14% of incidents occurring per week day1 and 15% of incidents occurring per weekend day2.

In the 2012/13 CSEW 85% of incidents of violence against children aged 10-15 occurred during the week and 15% of incidents occurred during the weekend. This means that the likelihood of a child aged 10 to 15 being a victim of violence is higher during the week. This reflects that fact that a large proportion of incidents occurred in and around school (62% of incidents) ( Table 4.2 Nature of Crime (154.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Table 1.1: Timing of incident for types of violent crime, 2012/13 CSEW[1]

England and Wales

Percentage adults aged 16 and over/children aged 10 to 15
Timing All Violence   Wounding Assualt with minor injury Assault with no injury Robbery Violence against Childen aged 10 to 15
During the week2 54   42 55 59 62 85
At the weekend3 46   58 45 41 38 15
Unweighted Base 830   218 216 309 87 216
               
Morning/Afternoon4 39   25 43 45 37 ..
Evening/Night5 61   75 57 55 63 ..
Unweighted base 851   225 218 317 91  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Week is from Monday 6am to Friday 6pm
  3. Weekend is from Friday 6pm to Monday 6am.
  4. Morning is from 6am to noon; afternoon is from noon to 6pm.
  5. Evening is from 6pm to midnight; night is midnight to 6am.

Download table

Notes for Timing of Violent Crimes

  1. The week is classified as 6am Monday until 6pm Friday.
  2. The weekend is classified as 6pm Friday until 6am Monday.

Where Violent Crimes Happen

Incidents of overall violence against adult victims in the 2012/13 CSEW, were most likely to occur at home (30%) or in the street (22%). Incidents of wounding were most likely to occur at home (37%) and incidents of robbery were most likely to occur in the street (55%). Assaults without injury were more likely to happen at work than other types of violence (30% compared with 18% of all violence) ( Table 3.2 Nature of Crime (452 Kb Excel sheet) )

Profile of Offenders Involved in Violent Crimes

During the interview victims of violent crime were able to provide some detail about the offender(s) in 99% of incidents ( Table 3.1 Nature of crime (452 Kb Excel sheet) ). As with victims of overall violent crime, offenders were most likely to be male and aged between 16 and 24. In just under half of violent incidents (49%) the offender was believed to be aged between 16 and 24 years and in 81% of violent incidents the offender was male. Separate Home Office analysis of police recorded crime figures has estimated that young people (defined as 10 to 17 year olds) were the offenders in 18% of violence against the person and 51% of robbery offences in 2009/10 (Home Office, 2012a).

In 43% of violent incidents the offender was a stranger; in 38% the offender was well known to the victim and in 19% the offender was known by sight or to speak to. Partner abuse incidents such as sexual assault show their own patterns in offender characteristics, see ‘Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ chapter for more information.

According to the 2012/13 CSEW, victims believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in around half (49%) of all violent incidents, or an estimated 881,000 offences1. In nearly a quarter (24%) or an estimated 423,000 violent incidents the victim believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of drugs. The percentage of incidents where the offender was perceived to be under the influence of drink or drugs have shown an upward trend since 1995 but are prone to year on year fluctuations ( Table 3.11 Nature of Crime (452 Kb Excel sheet) ).

In the 2012/13 CSEW, in 97% of violent incidents against children aged 10-15 the victim was able to say something about the offender. Incidents of violence were most likely to be committed by someone ‘known well’ (56% of incidents). In 68% of incidents the offender was a pupil at the victim’s school and in 14% of incidents the offender was a friend (including boyfriend/girlfriend). Where something could be said about the offender, 18% were committed by a stranger, compared with 43% in violence against adults in the 2012/13 survey ( Table 4.3 Nature of crime (154.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). In incidents of violence against children aged 10-15 the offender was most likely to be male (in 77% of incidents) and aged between 10 and 15 (79%).

Notes for Profile of Offenders Involved in Violent Crimes

  1. Questions were asked if the victim was able to say something about the offender(s), which they could do in nearly all (99%) incidents. If there was more than one offender, victims were asked if any of the offenders were perceived to be under the influence. Questions were not asked if any offender was perceived to be school age.

Impact on Victims

The CSEW asks victims about the impact of the crime they had experienced. Figure 1.8 shows that in 83% of violent incidents the respondent was “emotionally affected”, including 24% who were affected very much. The proportion of violence victims who were very much emotionally affected is slightly lower than that of burglary victims (27%) but higher than other types of crime (for example, vandalism, at 12%) (Figure 1.10 Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13). When this is broken down by type of injury it can be seen that a similar proportion of victims of robbery, assault with minor injury and wounding stated they were “emotionally affected”. It is the severity of the emotional impact that differs with a higher proportion of victims of assault with minor injury and wounding stating they were very emotionally affected (32% and 31% respectively). Victims of assault with no injury are slightly less likely to be emotionally affected with 74% of victims saying they were “emotionally affected”. Victims of domestic violence experienced the greatest emotional reaction with 92% of victims being emotionally affected and 49% affected very much.

Figure 1.8: Emotional response to violent crime victimisation, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Figure 1.8: Emotional response to violent crime victimisation, 2012/13 CSEW(1)

Notes:

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

Download chart

The most common forms of emotional reaction to violent crimes in the 2012/13 CSEW were anger (45%) and shock (40%)1. The emotional reaction was broadly similar across different types of injury. Victims of wounding were most likely to experience shock (49% of incidents), victims of assault with minor injury and assault with no injury most commonly experience anger (52% and 37% respectively).

Victims were asked to rate the seriousness of each incident on a scale of 1 to 202. In the 2012/13 survey half of violence victims (56%) rated the incident in the least serious range (1-6); while 15% rated it in the most serious range (14-20).

The self completion section of the survey shows that 40% of victims of partner abuse suffered mental or emotional problems; 20% reported having problems trusting people or having difficulty in other relationships following the abuse; and in 4% of incidents the victim attempted suicide as a result of the partner abuse victimisation.

Victims aged 10 to 15 were also asked about the seriousness of crimes they experienced. Based on the 2012/13 survey, 26% of violence victims aged 10 to 15 thought the incident was a crime, 37% thought it wrong but not a crime, and 37% thought it ‘was just something that happens’. This compares with 52% of theft victims aged 10 to 15 perceiving the incident to be a crime. This reflects the fact that the measure of violence against children aged 10 to 15 includes a large proportion of low level incidents which would not normally be considered a crime by law (Millard and Flatley, 2010).

Notes for Impact on Victims

  1. Respondents can report more than one emotion.
  2. Respondents are asked to use this scale, bearing in mind “1 being a very minor crime like theft of milk bottles from a doorstep, to 20 being the most serious crime of murder”.

Use of Weapons and Injuries in Violent Crimes

According to the 2012/13 CSEW, in 19% of violent incidents a weapon was used ( Table 3.9 Nature of Crime (452 Kb Excel sheet) ). The most commonly used weapon was a knife (used in 7% of violent incidents). Robbery is the offence type in which weapons are most commonly used (27% of incidents), the weapon type most common in incidents of robbery is a knife (used in 22% of incidents).

In the 2012/13, CSEW victims sustained a physical injury in 57% of incidents of violence. The most common type of injury in incidents of violence was minor bruising/black eye (31% of incidents) ( Table 3.7 Nature of Crime (452 Kb Excel sheet) ).

In the 2012/13, CSEW, 7% of incidents against children aged 10 to 15 involved the use of a weapon. Sticks, clubs and hitting implements, were used in 37% of incidents involving weapons, knives, screwdrivers or stabbing implements were used in 36% of incidents involving weapons and ‘something else’ was used in 19% of incidents involving weapons1 ( Table 4.7 Nature of Crime (154.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

The survey asks children about injuries sustained through violence. Based on the 2012/13 CSEW 78% of victims sustained an injury and 21% of victims received some form of medical attention. Of those incidents where the victim sustained an injury 69% had minor bruising/black eye and 32% had scratches. In 4% of violent incidents where the victim sustained an injury this was a serious injury2 ( Table 4.6 Nature of Crime (154.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Notes for Use of Weapons and Injuries in Violent Crimes

  1. Respondents could name more than one type of weapon, and so percentages add up to more than 100%.
  2. Serious injury includes: facial/head injuries, broken nose, concussion, broken bones.

References

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), 2013a, ‘Mistakes were made: HMIC’s review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012’

Millard and Flatley, eds. 2010, ‘Experimental statistics on victimisation of children aged 10 to 15: Findings from the British Crime Survey for the year ending December 2009 England and Wales’, Home Office statistical bulletin 11/10

MoJ, ONS, Home Office, 2013, ‘An overview of sexual offending in England and Wales’

Office for National Statistics, 2013a, ‘Methodological note: Impact of presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales

Office for National Statistics, 2013b, Crime Statistics, period ending March 2013

Office for National Statistics, 2013c, ‘Focus on Property Crime. 2012/13’

Office for National Statistics, 2013d, ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12’

Sivarajasingham V, Wells, J P, Moore, S, Morgan, P and Shepherd, J P, 2012, ‘Violence in England and Wales 2011. An accident and Emergency Perspective‘, Cardiff: Cardiff University

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

Background notes

  1. A list of the organisations given pre-publication access to the contents of this bulletin can be found on the ONS website.

  2. In accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and 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.

    While data relating to the Homicide Index used in this release is covered by the de-designation of all data based on police recorded crime, Home Office and ONS statisticians do not have significant concerns about the accuracy of recording of homicides. However, ONS accepts that there is currently insufficient evidence to provide that assurance. The ONS will work with partners to obtain fuller information on the quality of the Homicide Index and will request a re-assessment by the UK Statistics Authority in due course.

    Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) continues to be badged as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. 

    For more information on statistics designated as National Statistics, see background note 3.

  3. 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.

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.