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About this Release: Focus on Property Crime 2012/13 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 28 November 2013 Download PDF

Key Points

  • 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.


This release is a collaboration between ONS and Home Office analysts. It explores a variety of official statistics on property crime and is primarily based on crimes recorded by the police in the year ending March 2013 and interviews carried out over the same period on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). Trend analysis from both sources is also included.

This release is split into three chapters, each covering a different aspect of property crime. The first chapter provides an overview of all property crime, summarising long term trends and exploring patterns in the circumstances of property crimes and the characteristics of victims.

The second chapter presents analyses of data on repeat victimisation in property crime. This chapter covers the extent of repeat victimisation across individual crime types, divided into those experiencing two victimisations, and those experiencing three or more victimisations. Trends in repeat victimisation are also presented. The chapter also looks at the characteristics of repeat victims of property crimes using CSEW data collected about the nature of their most recent victimisation.

The third chapter presents findings from the CSEW on the possession of home security devices and the relationship with burglary victimisation. The chapter also examines security-conscious behaviour related to domestic burglary such as improvements to home security and property marking.

The Data sources section and User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales give more details on each of the sources used in this release.

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office 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.

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