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About this Release: Focus on Victimisation and Public Perceptions, 2012/13 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 30 May 2014 Download PDF

Key points

  • The proportion of adults who reported that the police in their local area do a good or excellent job has increased year-on-year over the past decade. The latest data from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) indicate the trend is levelling off, with the proportion of adults giving positive ratings of the local police recording a small decrease when compared with the 2011/12 survey (down one percentage point to 61%).
  • Since 2009/10, 10 to 15 year olds have also been asked for their opinion of the local police. The proportion that had positive opinions increased over time, from 48% in the 2009/10 survey to 55% in the 2012/13 survey. Young girls (aged 10-12) were the age group most likely to have a positive opinion (72%), while older boys (aged 13-15) were the least likely (40%).
  • According to the 2012/13 CSEW, there were an estimated 821,000 incidents of crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15. Boys were more likely to be victims, with 16% having experienced a crime in the previous twelve months, compared to 9% of girls.
  • The proportion of adults who reported seeing a police officer on foot patrol in their local area at least once a week recorded a decrease of four percentage points from 38% in the 2011/12 CSEW to 34% in the 2012/13 CSEW. Prior to this, proportions reporting this level of visibility increased until 2009/10, after which trends remained broadly steady.
  • Children are also asked a similar question about police visibility. The percentage of 10 to 15 year olds that are defined as having a high level of police visibility in their local area was 34% in the 2012/13 CSEW.


This release is the third of three annual ‘Focus on crime statistics’ publications produced through collaboration between ONS and Home Office analysts. The first two focused on property crime (published in November 2013) and violent crime (published in February 2014). These publications presented data from both police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). This publication mostly uses data from the CSEW, although there are references to other data sources throughout.

The first chapter explores adults overall ratings and confidence in the police. It then looks at measures of police visibility, before tying the two together and examining the relationship between visibility and ratings of the police. Included in this are both trends over time and demographic breakdowns from the 2012/13 CSEW. It finishes by considering victim satisfaction with the police, another key measure of police performance.

Chapter 2 looks at perceptions of the police by children aged 10 to 15. Similarly to Chapter 1, topics such as ratings and perceptions of the police, police visibility, and satisfaction with the police are covered. Breakdowns by personal characteristics are also provided.

Chapter 3 then turns to child victims of crime. This includes the extent of different types of crime, the characteristics associated with being a child victim, before examining the relationship between adult and child victimisation. There is also information on the nature of the crimes experienced by 10 to 15 year olds.

Published alongside this report are a number of supplementary tables. These are not referred to in this report, but provide information on a range of associated topics. Examples of tables included are tables on Neighbourhood Watch schemes (Tables S26-28), the public’s use of online crime maps (Table S12), and perceptions of changing crime levels (Table S3-S5). These can be found as part of the Supplementary tables (541 Kb Excel sheet) .

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. A list of the organisations given pre-publication access to the contents of this bulletin can be found on the ONS website.

  2. This report is based on data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), and is designated as National Statistics. This signifies compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

  3. 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.

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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