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Release: Crime Statistics, Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13

Released: 28 November 2013 Next edition: 23 January 2014


John Flatley

Crime Statistics and Analysis Division

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7592 8695

Categories: Crime, Crime and Justice, Crime Trends, Property Crime, Burglary, Vehicle Related Crime, Crime in England and Wales

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Country

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

  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows substantial falls in property crime, with levels having fallen by half since they peaked in the mid-1990’s. These falls were driven by large reductions in crimes such as vandalism, vehicle-related theft and burglary. While these high volume crime types continue to show falls, in contrast recent trends show increases in the lower volume personal theft offences such as theft from the person recorded by the police.

  • In the 2012/13 CSEW the most commonly stolen item in incidents of theft from the person, burglary, and other household theft were purses/wallets. Cash/foreign currency was the most commonly stolen item in incidents of robbery and in those classified as 'other theft of personal property'.  Mobile phones were also commonly stolen in incidents of theft from the person and robbery.

  • The 2012/13 CSEW shows that levels of repeat victimisation varied by type of property crime offence. Vandalism had the highest repeat victimisation rate, with 25% of victims of this crime reporting they had suffered vandalism more than once in the previous 12 months. Theft from the person and robbery were least likely to have been experienced more than once (7%).

  • Changes in levels of repeat victimisation have been important in influencing long-term crime trends. Across all types of property crime, declines in the number of crimes estimated by the CSEW have been more marked for repeat incidents than for one-off incidents. Across all property crime types except theft from the person and robbery, the proportion of victims in the 2012/13 CSEW who were victimised more than once has fallen since CSEW crime peaked in 1995.

  • The most common home security devices present in households in England and Wales were window locks and double locks or deadlocks.  Eighty-eight per cent of households had locks on their windows and 83% had double locks or deadlocks on at least some of their outside doors. In combination these two devices have been considered to provide at least ‘basic’ security and 3-in-4 households had this level of home security.

  • The relationship between security and risk of burglary is complex. Analysis of the CSEW shows that no single one type of security device alone lowered the risk of victimisation. However, the presence of multiple security devices in combination was associated with significantly lower risk of being a victim of burglary.

  • There continues to be variation in the uptake of security measures, with generally those households at greatest risk of being a victim of burglary having the lowest levels of uptake, for example student households and households in rented accommodation.

Findings from additional analyses based on the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales and crimes recorded by the police covering different aspects of property crime.

Other useful information

This release is the first in a series of topic-based ‘Focus on’ bulletins based on the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales and police recorded crime data. It explores a variety of official statistics on property crimes such as burglary, criminal damage, vehicle-related theft, and other theft offences.

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 to the presentation of the statistics were implemented, 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.

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 

Further Crime Survey information is available from the Crime Statistics methodological page. This includes: 

  • A technical report providing covering all aspects of  the CSEW survey design, including sampling strategy, field operations, response rates, weighting methodology, and data processing.

  • A copy of the CSEW survey questionnaires 

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.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.