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Crime and victims

Crime statistics

We closely measure and analyse crime statistics to gauge crime trends, and to gauge whether our initiatives are reducing rates of crime in England and Wales.

How we measure crime

Police records are one data source we use to measure crime rates. However, these statistics alone don’t paint an accurate picture because many crimes are not reported to police.

Since 1982, we’ve analysed the annual British Crime Survey (BCS) in conjunction with police recorded crime figures to get a more accurate picture of UK crime, and we publish all the figures in the annual report: Crime in England and Wales.

Generally speaking, the BCS is regarded as the most reliable indicator of long-term crime trends, because it asks people about their actual experiences of crime. It’s also useful for gauging public feeling since it measures how much people fear crime and how they try to avoid it.

However, we provide both figures, since the police recorded crime numbers provide accurate information about all the crimes reported to police.

A snapshot of crime in 2007-08

Here are some significant crime statistics from our most recent research, Crime in England and Wales 2007-08:

  • the rate of crime declined 10% over 2006-07
  • violent crime, vandalism and vehicle-related thefts all fell over the previous year (by 12%, 10% and 11% respectively)
  • the risk of becoming a victim of crime fell from 24% to 22%

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