Jump to site navigation [j]

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 2008-09

Here are some significant crime statistics from our most recent research, Crime in England and Wales 2008-09:

  • the number of police recorded crimes fell by 5% between 2007-08 and 2008-09
  • police recorded 6% fewer violent against the person offences, 10% fewer vandalism offences and 10% fewer offences against vehicles, but home burglaries have increased by 1%
  • the risk of becoming a victim of crime as measured by the BCS rose from 22% to 23%, but is well below its peak of 40% in 1995

Home Office websites