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Creating sustainable communities and a fairer world

38. Crime*

Number of crimes: (a) vehicle thefts (b) domestic burglary (c) violent crime, 1990 to 2009-10


England and Wales: Recorded crime for (a) vehicles (b) domestic burglary (c) robbery, 1970 to 2009-10


Scotland: recorded crime for (a) vehicles (b) housebreaking in a dwelling* (c) robbery, 1995 to 2008-9


Northern Ireland: recorded crime for (a) vehicles (b) domestic burglary (c) robbery, 1990 to 2009-10


Number of Crime since:
  • The British Crime Survey (BCS) provides the best guide to long term trends in crime as it has been carried out using a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting of crime to the police, recording practices or police activity.
  • In England and Wales between 1991 and 2009-10 estimates from the BCS indicate that vehicle-related theft fell by 68 per cent, burglary by 52 per cent and violent crime by 18 per cent.  Between 2003-4 and 2009-10 vehicle-related theft, burglary, and violent crime fell by 42 per cent, 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
  • The number of crimes recorded by the police can be difficult to interpret because trends have been influenced by counting rule changes in 1998, the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2002 (2004 for Scotland), and the inclusion of British Transport Police figures, all of which have tended to increase the number of crimes recorded. 
  • Recording has been consistent since 2002-3 in England and Wales, and overall police recorded vehicular related theft, burglary and robbery have all fallen between 2002-3 and 2009-10.
  • In Northern Ireland, recorded incidences of robbery and vehicle-related theft decreased by 22 per cent and 48 per cent respectively between 1990 and 2009-10. Recorded burglary in Northern Ireland increased by 9 per cent during the same period (from 1995 burglary included attempted burglary). 
  • Differences in (a) legal systems and (b) police recording mean that the recorded crime figures for Scotland are not directly comparable with recorded crime figures for England and Wales. In Scotland, recorded incidences of crime steadily decreased between 1995-6 and 2008-9.  Recorded vehicle-related theft and housebreaking in a dwelling fell by 74 per cent and 63 per cent respectively, whilst recorded robbery fell by 45 per cent.


Updated: 30 July 2010