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Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending December 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 25 April 2013 Download PDF

Key points

  • Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate that there were 8.9 million crimes against adults in England and Wales, based on the survey in the year ending December 2012. This represents an apparent 5% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey. Although this decrease was not statistically significant it is in line with the general downward trend seen over the last five years. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to have fallen by 19% compared with the 2006/07 survey; a statistically significant reduction.
  • In addition, the CSEW estimated that there were 0.9 million crimes against children aged 10 to 15 over the same time period.
  • The police recorded 3.7 million crimes in the year ending December 2012, a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year.
  • Figures from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey estimated that there were 9.2 million incidents of crime against businesses in England and Wales in the four sectors covered by the survey (wholesale and retail, manufacturing, accommodation and food, and transportation and storage) in the preceding 12 months.
  • There were an additional 1.0 million offences dealt with by the courts in the year ending September 2012 (the latest period for which data are available), which are not included in the police recorded crime figures.
  • In addition, around 2.3 million incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded by the police in the year ending December 2012.
  • All of the main categories of police recorded crime fell in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year, though there were some increases in sub-categories. For example, theft from the person increased by 8% in the year ending December 2012 (from 99,396 offences to 107,471 offences), representing a speeding-up of the increases seen for this offence since 2008/09.

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Introduction

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two different sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, previously known as the British Crime Survey) and police recorded crime. Police recorded crime data are collated and quality assured by the Home Office Statistics Unit and supplied to ONS for inclusion in this publication. In 2009 the CSEW was extended to cover children aged 10 to 15. However, due to the long time series for which comparable data are available, the main analysis and commentary is restricted to adults and households. A separate section provides a commentary on the figures for 10 to 15 year olds, although trends have not yet been established as this element of the survey has only been running for three years (Table 22). This quarterly statistical bulletin also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture of crime and anti-social behaviour including the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey.

Release tables published alongside this commentary include a set of bulletin tables (677.5 Kb Excel sheet) containing the data tables and numbers appearing behind graphs in this publication, and more detailed estimates and counts of crime levels as set out in the table in the ‘list of products’ section.

Summary

Current level of crime – CSEW

Latest figures from the CSEW show that there were an estimated 8.9 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults aged 16 and over in England and Wales for the year ending December 20121. This represents an apparent 5% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey. Although this decrease was not statistically significant it is in line with the general downward trend seen over the last five years. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to have fallen by 19% compared with the 2006/07 survey, a statistically significant reduction, and is now less than half its peak level in 1995 (Figure 1).

In addition, there were an estimated 0.9 million crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending December 2012. Of this number, just over a half were violent crimes (481,000) while most of the remaining crimes were theft of personal property (355,000). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (42,000 crimes; Tables 22 to 24).

Current level of crime – other sources of crime statistics

The police2 recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending December 2012, a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year (Table 2). Police recorded crime figures continue to show year-on-year reductions and the latest figures are around a third lower than 2002/03. Police recorded crime decreased in each of the 43 territorial forces, and for the British Transport Police. All of the headline offences for police recorded crime decreased when compared with the previous year.

In the year ending September 2012 (the latest period for which data are available) there were 1 million convictions in magistrates courts for non-notifiable offences 3 (not covered in the recorded crime collection) and 42,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued in relation to non-notifiable offences (Table 27a).

Around 2.3 million incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) were recorded by the police for the year ending December 20124. There was a consistent downward trend in the number of ASB incidents recorded from 2007/08 until 2010/11 (Figure 13). Following a change in the classification used for ASB incidents in 2011/12, the latest data are not comparable with previous years5.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau reported over 441,000 offences of fraud in the UK in the year ending December 2012 (Table 21). Around three quarters of these fraud offences were banking and payment related which involve cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts. Latest CSEW estimates show that 4.6% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, a non-statistically significant change compared with the previous year (Figure 12).

Figures from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey estimated that there were 9.2 million incidents of crime against businesses in England and Wales in the four sectors covered by the survey (wholesale and retail, manufacturing, accommodation and food, and transportation and storage) in the preceding 12 months. This equates to approximately 13 incidents of crime per business (Table 28).

Trends in CSEW and police recorded crime

Figure 1 shows how levels of crime have changed over time in the two main sources covering crime against adults.

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) police recorded crime refers to the calendar year (January to December) from 1981 to 1997, and to the financial year (April to March) from 1998/99; b) prior to 2001/02, CSEW estimates relate to crimes experienced in that calendar year. From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year; and c) the last two data points for both CSEW and police recorded crime refer to data collected in the rolling 12 month time period for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Figure 2 shows selected police recorded crime offences focusing on those with notable changes in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year.

Figure 2: Selected police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending December 2011 and year ending December 2012

Figure 2: Selected police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending December 2011 and year ending December 2012

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Violence against the person offences recorded by the police showed a 6% year on year decrease, continuing the decline in this offence group observed since 2006/07 (Table 6a). Police recorded crime also shows declines in some of the more serious violent crimes: homicide 6 and attempted murder both decreased by 4% compared with the previous year and violence against the person with injury decreased by 9% ( Appendix table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Firearm offences have more than halved between the year ending December 2012 and their peak in 2005/06, while the number of selected offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument decreased by 16% comparing the year ending December 2012 with the previous year.

Levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed no statistically significant change in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year. This follows on from large falls seen in the CSEW between 1995 and 2004/05 and current estimates are around half the level seen in 1995 (Table 5a).

Police recorded robberies fell by 13% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year. With the exception of a notable rise in the number of robberies in 2005/06 and 2006/07 there has been a general downward trend in these offences since 2002/03. The latest year shows the number of robbery offences falling to 67,462, representing the lowest levels since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03 ( Appendix table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Robbery offences tend to be concentrated in a small number of metropolitan forces with more than half of all offences in England and Wales recorded in London ( Tables P1 and P2 (166 Kb Excel sheet) ). Thus the overall decrease has been driven by falls in the large metropolitan force areas, most notably the West Midlands (down by 2,407 offences; 30%), and the Metropolitan Police (down by 3,213 offences; 8%).

Sexual offences recorded by the police fell 3% in the year ending December 2012, compared with the previous year and follows annual rises of 6% and 1% (recorded in 2009/10 and 2010/11 respectively). In the year to December 2012 the police recorded a total of 53,203 sexual offences across England and Wales.

Other theft offences recorded by the police in the year ending December 2012 showed a 7% decrease compared with the previous year (Table 2 and Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). This decrease follows a rise of 4% in 2010/11, compared with 2009/10. However, these changes should be seen in the longer term context with latest estimates down 13% from 2006/07. The sub-category of theft from the person (for example pick-pocketing) rose by 8% in the year ending December 2012 (from 99,396 offences to 107,471 offences), representing a speeding-up of the increases seen for this offence since 2008/09. This increase occurred almost entirely in London, with the volume of theft from the person offences in the rest of England and Wales remaining fairly flat since 2008/09.

The CSEW category of vehicle-related theft showed a statistically significant decrease of 10% compared with the previous year, and a decrease of 75% compared with 1995 (Table 13b). The latest survey estimated that a vehicle-owning household was four times less likely to be a victim of vehicle-related theft than in 1995 (5 in 100 households compared with 20 in 100 households in 1995). Police recorded crime figures also showed a fall of 8% in offences against vehicles compared with the previous year, continuing the downward trend seen since 2002/03 (down 63%; Tables 14a and 14b).

Overall household crime7 measured by the survey in the year ending December 2012 showed a statistically significant decrease of 5% compared with the previous year; a result of decreases in vandalism, burglary and vehicle-related theft. All three categories are at similar or lower volumes to those when the survey began in 1981 ( Appendix table A1 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). CSEW vandalism, like criminal damage offences recorded by the police, showed substantial decreases later than these other offences (from 2006/07 rather than 1995), and as such have made major contributions to recent crime trends in both series. Since the 2008/09 survey, other household theft has shown an upward trend, with a 16% rise since the 2006/07 CSEW (Table 15b); although the latest year on year increase was not statistically significant.

Table 1: Number of CSEW incidents year ending December 2012 and percentage change

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
    January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 2012 to Dec 20121 Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
  Number of incidents (thousands), percentage change and significance2
Vandalism 1,811 -45 * -30 * -37 * -7 *
Burglary 633 -64 * -34 * -10 * -13 *
Vehicle-related theft 1,073 -75 * -57 * -34 * -10 *
Bicycle theft 482 -27 * 33 * 3   12  
Other household theft 1,355 -39 * -5 * 16 * 4  
Household acquisitive crime 3,543 -60 * -32 * -11 * -3  
ALL HOUSEHOLD CRIME 5,354 -56 * -31 * -22 * -5 *
Unweighted base - household crime 36,595                
Theft from the person 575 -15 * -5   0   -3  
Other theft of personal property 1,023 -51 * -27 * -10 * -5  
All violence 1,981 -53 * -27 * -20 * -7  
       with injury 1,074 -55 * -28 * -15 * -4  
       without injury 907 -49 * -26 * -25 * -10  
Personal acquisitive crime 1,845 -40 * -22 * -9 * -4  
ALL PERSONAL CRIME 3,580 -48 * -24 * -15 * -6  
Unweighted base - personal crime 36,625                
ALL CSEW CRIME 8,933 -53 * -29 * -19 * -5  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  3. For more information about the crime types included in this table, see Section 5 of the User Guide.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 2: Number of police recorded crimes year ending December 2012 and percentage change

England and Wales

Number and percentage change
    January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
Offence group Jan 2012 to Dec 2012 Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Violence against the person offences 728,802 -14 -30 -6
     Violence against the person - with injury2 316,189 -15 -38 -9
     Violence against the person - without injury3 412,613 -13 -24 -4
Sexual offences 53,203 -10 -8 -3
     Most serious sexual crime 44,225 -2 1 -3
     Other sexual offences 8,978 -34 -35 -1
Robbery offences 67,462 -39 -33 -13
     Robbery of business property 6,257 -43 -34 -11
     Robbery of personal property 61,205 -38 -33 -13
Burglary offences 468,217 -47 -25 -9
     Burglary in a dwelling 230,300 -47 -21 -8
     Burglary in a building other than a dwelling 237,917 -47 -28 -9
Offences against vehicles 393,041 -63 -49 -8
     Theft of a motor vehicle 81,973 -74 -58 -16
     Theft from a vehicle 287,829 -57 -43 -5
     Interfering with a motor vehicle 23,239 -75 -66 -11
Other theft offences4 1,031,523 -23 -13 -7
of which: Theft from the person 107,471 -28 -6 8
                Bicycle theft 102,179 5 -8 -10
                Other theft or unauthorised taking 436,664 -33 -19 -13
Fraud and forgery offences5 136,141 - - -5
Criminal damage offences 553,356 -51 -53 -15
Drug offences 211,791 48 9 -9
Other miscellaneous offences 56,813 -11 -25 -8
TOTAL RECORDED CRIME - ALL OFFENCES 3,700,349 -38 -32 -8
of which: Firearm offences6 5,128 -50 -47 -18

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. Includes homicide, attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking and less serious wounding offences.

  3. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, possession of weapons, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).

  4. Other theft includes a range of offences, including shoplifting and theft from the person.

  5. Due to new offences introduced in January 2007 comparisons can not be made with years prior to 2010/11.

  6. Firearm offences are provisional. Excludes offences involving the use of air weapons and offences recorded by British Transport Police. Includes crimes recorded by police where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

  7. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Summary

  1. See section ‘Data Sources – further information’ for more details regarding the data sources and reasons for the differences in the number of crimes seen by each data source.

  2. Police recorded crimes are notifiable offences which are all crimes that could possibly be tried by a jury (these include some less serious offences, such as minor theft that would not usually be dealt with in this way) plus a few additional closely related offences, such as assault without injury.

  3. Non-notifiable offences are offences dealt with exclusively by a magistrates court or by the police issuing of a Penalty Notice for Disorder or a Fixed Penalty Notice. Along with non-notifiable offences dealt with by the police (such as speeding), these include many offences that may be dealt with by other agencies – for example, prosecutions by TV Licensing or by the DVLA for vehicle registration offences.

  4. ASB incidents recorded by the police are not accredited as National Statistics and are not subject to the same level of consistency and quality of recording as police recorded crime.

  5. For more information regarding the changes see section 5.7 of the User Guide

  6. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Homicide data are provisional figures supplied by the police as at 1 March 2013. Figures from the Homicide Index, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes are published annually and the latest figures for the time period April 2011 to March 2012, were published as part of ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’ on 7 February 2013.

  7. CSEW household crime includes burglary and other household theft, vandalism, vehicle-related theft incidents and bicycle theft.

Time periods covered

The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) figures presented in this release are based on interviews conducted between January and December 2012, measuring each respondent’s experiences of crime in the 12 months before the interview. It therefore covers a rolling reference period with, for example, respondents interviewed in January 2012 reporting on crimes experienced between January 2011 and December 2011 and those interviewed in December 2012 reporting on crimes taking place between December 2011 and November 2012. For that reason, the CSEW tends to act as a lagging indicator of short-term trends.

Recorded crime figures relate to crimes recorded by the police during the year ending December 2012 and therefore are not subject to the time lag experienced by the CSEW. Recorded crime figures presented in this release are those notified to the Home Office and that were recorded in the Home Office database on 1 March 2013. As in previous releases, recorded crime figures remain subject to change as forces continue to submit further data for this time period.

It should also be noted that nine months of the data reported here overlap with the data contained in the last bulletin. For both sources the headline findings refer to the latest available data covering the 12 month period to the year ending December 2012. Year on year comparisons are made with the previous year, that is, the 12 month period ending December 2011. To put the latest CSEW year-on-year comparisons in context, data are also shown for; the financial year 2006/07 (approximately five years ago); the financial year 2001/02 (approximately ten years ago); and the 1995 calendar year (the peak of CSEW crime, when the survey was conducted on a calendar year basis). Similarly, putting the latest police recorded crime year-on-year comparisons in context, data are also shown for; the financial year 2006/07 (approximately five years ago); and the financial year 2002/03 when the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced. Appendix Tables A1 to A4 published together with the tables in this release show the fuller time series.

Future quarterly publications will follow the same format presenting the latest two years figures alongside a standard set of longer-term reference points. Once a year (at the time of the quarterly publication in July) all data points (including the current year, previous year and all prior years back to 2002/03) will reference the same 12 month period (the financial year).

Overall level of crime

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two different sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, previously known as the British Crime Survey), and police recorded crime1. Neither source provides a total count of crime and each has its strengths and limitations2. Other data sources are drawn on to provide a more comprehensive picture of crime and anti-social behaviour.

In 2009 the CSEW was extended to cover children aged 10 to 15, although trends have not yet been established as this element of the survey has only been running for three years. The latest results relating to children can be found in the ‘crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’ section. In other sections, commentary on CSEW trends is restricted to crimes against households and adults resident in them.

The CSEW estimates that there were 8.9 million incidents of crime covered by the survey for the year ending December 2012. The apparent 5% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey was not statistically significant (Tables 3a and 3b). However, this continues the pattern seen since 2004/05 where changes are rarely statistically significant when comparing one year to another, but over longer periods reductions are statistically significant. The level of incidents in the year ending December 2012 survey is now 19% lower than that of the 2006/07 survey. CSEW estimates of crime have more than halved since peak levels in 1995, representing 10 million fewer crimes (Table 3a).

The overall level of police recorded crime3 decreased by 8% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year. This decrease has continued to follow the year-on-year pattern of reductions seen in recent years (Figure 3). There were 3.7 million offences recorded in the year ending December 2012, the lowest number of offences since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/034. The latest number of offences recorded was 32% lower than 2006/07 and 38% lower than 2002/03 (Tables 4a and 4b).

Figure 3 shows the time-series for both data sources. CSEW crime rose steadily from 1981 to 1991, before peaking in 1995 (Figure 3). Subsequently, the CSEW showed marked falls up to the 2004/05 survey. Since then the rate of reduction has slowed with some fluctuation from year to year.

Figure 3: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 3: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) police recorded crime refers to the calendar year (January to December) from 1981 to 1997, and to the financial year (April to March) from 1998/99; b) prior to 2001/02, CSEW estimates relate to crimes experienced in that calendar year. From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year; and c) the last two data points for both CSEW and police recorded crime refer to data collected in the rolling 12 month time period for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Police recorded crime also increased during most of the 1980s, reaching a peak in 1992, and then fell each year until 1998/99 when the expanded coverage and changes in the Home Office Counting Rules resulted in an increase in recorded offences; see Chapter 3 of the User Guide. This was followed by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in April 2002 which led to a rise in recording in 2002/03 and 2003/04. Following the bedding in of these changes, trends have been generally more consistent between the two series since 2003/04, with the exception of some short term fluctuations in recent years.

ONS have conducted further analysis comparing an equivalent set of offence groups across the two series. This revealed that differences between the number of offences recorded by the police, and the number of incidents estimated by the CSEW, has widened in recent years with the police series showing a faster rate of reduction. For more details see the Analysis of Variation in Crime Trends methodological note.

Table 3a: All CSEW crime - number of incidents

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  Interviews from:  
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
Total CSEW incidents (thousands) 19,109 12,532 11,060 9,405 8,933
Unweighted base 16,337 32,787 47,138 46,761 36,625

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 3b: All CSEW crime - percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
  Percentage change and significance1  
Total CSEW incidents -53 * -29 * -19 * -5  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 4a: Total police recorded crime - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Total recorded crime - all offences 5,974,960 5,427,558 4,043,157 3,700,349
Total rate per 1,000 population 115 102 73 67

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 4b: Total police recorded crime - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Total recorded crime - all offences -38 -32 -8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Overall level of crime

  1. It should be noted that police recorded crime has wider offence coverage than the CSEW as for example, it includes crimes against businesses and non-residents (for example visitors or tourists), however, it does not include crimes that have not been reported to the police.

  2. See section Data Sources – further information: Strengths and limitations of the CSEW and police recorded crime.

  3. Police recorded crime includes all notifiable offences, which are those that could possibly be tried by a jury (these include some less serious offences, such as minor theft that would not usually be dealt with in this way) plus a few additional closely related offences, such as assault without injury.

  4. The Fraud section describes how recording of fraud is being centralised and sourced from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau rather than the police recorded crime. However, the impact this has on the overall level of police recorded crime is small; removing such offences from the year ending December 2012 and the previous year’s figures shows a similar decrease in the overall number of offences recorded by the police.

Violence

Violent crime covers a wide range of offences, from minor assaults such as pushing and shoving that result in no physical harm through to serious incidents of wounding and murder. Robbery, an offence in which violence or the threat of violence is used during a theft (or attempted theft) is not included in the police recorded violence against the person offence group as it is reported as a separate stand-alone category (see the ‘robbery’ section), but is currently included within CSEW violence. Following a recent consultation with users, robbery will in future be presented as a stand- alone category for both police recorded crime and the CSEW1

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in the levels of violence (the apparent 7% decrease was not statistically significant) based on interviews in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 5a and 5b). Figure 4 shows that this continues a general trend seen since the 2006/07 survey where the CSEW has shown a sustained period of modest annual decreases (though often not large enough to be statistically significant year on year). Overall the estimated number of violent incidents recorded by the CSEW decreased 16% between the 2005/06 survey and the December 2012 survey (Appendix Table A1). Latest CSEW estimates show there were under 2 million violent incidents in England and Wales, similar to the number estimated in 1983 (Figure 4). Violent incidents constitute 22% of all CSEW crime in the latest survey making it the biggest group of offences, and therefore an important driver of overall CSEW trends.

Table A1 shows that there are similar trends in violence with and without injury as for overall CSEW violence. The category of violence committed by strangers, however, decreased by 23%, based on the CSEW in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year. Although this change is statistically significant, in the context of recent trends, it appears to be most likely to represent sampling variability rather than a genuine change in levels of stranger violence. Estimates for this category have been broadly flat since 1995, fluctuating between 750,000 and 1 million incidents annually with no pattern of substantial decreases like those shown by other types of violent offences (Appendix table A1).

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Figure 4 shows steep increases in the number of violent incidents measured by the CSEW from the early 1980s to 1995. This was followed by a period of decreases, with the latest estimate being 20% lower than those observed from the 2006/07 survey, and about half the number estimated in 1995 (Table 5b). Putting these latest figures in context, around 3 in every 100 adults were a victim of violent crime in the last year, compared with around 5 in 100 adults in the 1995 survey (Table 5a).

Once a year, in a thematic report on violent offences, more detailed findings from both sources of crime statistics, including separate analyses of homicide, firearm offences, and intimate violence, are published. The latest of these relating to the 2011/12 year is available in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’. Estimates of violence against 10 to 15 year olds can also be found in the section ‘crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’.

Table 5a: CSEW violence – number, rate and percentage of incidents

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Interviews from:  
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
Number of incidents Thousands        
All CSEW violence 4,176 2,728 2,473 2,126 1,981
       with injury 2,408 1,497 1,271 1,123 1,074
       without injury 1,768 1,231 1,202 1,003 907
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults          
All CSEW violence 103 65 57              47              44
       with injury 59 36 29              25              24
       without injury 43 29 28              22              20
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage      
All CSEW violence 5.3 3.8 3.6 3.1 2.7
       with injury 3.2 2.2 2.0 1.7 1.5
       without injury 2.5 1.9 1.8 1.5 1.3
Unweighted base - personal crime 16,337 32,787 47,138     46,761     36,625

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 5b: CSEW violence - percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
     January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance1  
All CSEW violence -53 * -27 * -20 * -7  
       with injury -55 * -28 * -15 * -4  
       without injury -49 * -26 * -25 * -10  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults                
All CSEW violence -57 * -33 * -23 * -8  
       with injury -60 * -34 * -19 * -5  
       without injury -54 * -32 * -28 * -10  
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance1,2
All CSEW violence -2.6 * -1.1 * -0.9 * -0.4 *
       with injury -1.7 * -0.7 * -0.5 * -0.2  
       without injury -1.2 * -0.6 * -0.5 * -0.2  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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The level of violence against the person2 recorded by the police in the year ending December 2012 showed a 6% fall compared with the previous year (Tables 6a and 6b) and is the lowest recorded following the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03. Offences of violence with injury decreased by 9%, while offences involving no injury fell by 4%. The latest levels of violence against the person have fallen by 30% from 2006/07 and by 14% from 2002/03.

The police recorded crime figures for the year ending December 2012 also show notable declines in the number of homicides3 recorded by the police ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ) which fell by 4% compared with the previous year (from 577 to 552). This is the lowest level recorded since 1978 (532) and equates to a homicide rate of less than one per 100,000 population. The number of homicides increased from around 300 per year in the early 1960s to over 800 per year in the early years of this century before falling to current levels4. If this trend was being driven solely by improvements in emergency or medical practices, then an increase in attempted murders might be expected; however these are also decreasing over time, with a 4% decrease in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year. For detailed information on homicide trends and the circumstances of homicides recorded in 2011/12 see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.

Separate research conducted by the Violence and Society Research Group at Cardiff University (Sivarajasingam et al., 2012) also indicates falls in the levels of violent crime. Findings from their annual survey, covering a sample of hospital emergency departments and walk-in centres in England and Wales, showed an overall decrease of 4% in serious violence-related attendances in 2011 compared with 2010. This pattern is consistent with the reductions in violent crime recorded by the police (see figure 1 of that publication). In addition, NHS data on assault admissions to hospitals in England show that for the 12 months to the end of September 20125 there were 35,655 hospital admissions for assault, a reduction of 11% compared with figures for the preceding 12 months.

Table 6a: Police recorded violence - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Violence against the person offences 845,078 1,046,167 775,000 728,802
     Violence against the person - with injury2 372,124 506,594 346,210 316,189
     Violence against the person - without injury3 472,954 539,573 428,790 412,613
Violence against the person rate per 1,000 population 16 20 14 13

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. Includes homicide, attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking and less serious wounding offences.

  3. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, possession of weapons, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).

  4. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  5. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 6b: Police recorded violence - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Violence against the person offences -14 -30 -6
     Violence against the person - with injury1 -15 -38 -9
     Violence against the person - without injury2 -13 -24 -4

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Includes homicide, attempted murder, intentional destruction of viable unborn child, causing death by dangerous driving/careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, more serious wounding or other act endangering life (including grievous bodily harm with and without intent), causing death by aggravated vehicle taking and less serious wounding offences.

  2. Includes threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment, possession of weapons, other offences against children and assault without injury (formerly common assault where there is no injury).

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Violence

  1. For more details see the ‘future plans and changes to statistical reporting’ section or the ONS crime statistics publication ‘Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses’.

  2. Police recorded violence against the person does not include sexual offences or robbery but does include a range of state based offences such as possession of weapons. Due to the small numbers of sexual offences identified by face-to-face CSEW interviews, results from the main CSEW are too unreliable to report; these data are not included within the overall count of violence (except for the categories of serious wounding with sexual motive and other wounding with sexual motive, which are included in the offence type of wounding). Refer to section 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding coverage of crime measures.

  3. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Homicide data are provisional figures supplied by the police as at 1 March 2013. Figures from the Homicide Index for the time period April 2011 to March 2012, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes, were published on 7 February 2013.

  4. Homicide figures are less likely to be affected by changes in police recording practice made in 1998 and 2002 so it is possible to examine longer-term trends from police recorded crime.

  5. Based on the latest available Hospital Episode Statistics.

Robbery

Robbery is an offence in which force or the threat of force is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft. The small number of robbery victims interviewed in any one year means that CSEW estimates are prone to fluctuation. The number of robberies recorded by the police therefore provides a more robust indication of trends than the CSEW, although some underreporting by members of the public, particularly of less serious incidents, exists.

Robbery is a relatively low volume crime accounting for just under 2% of all police recorded crime in the year ending December 2012. These offences are concentrated in a small number of metropolitan forces with over half of all offences recorded in London, and a further 18% in the Greater Manchester, West Midlands and West Yorkshire police force areas combined ( Table P1 (166 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 2002/03 to 2009/10 refers to the financial year (April to March). b) The last two data points refer to the rolling 12 month time period for the past two years (January to December).

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The latest figures show police recorded robberies decreased by 13% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 7a and 7b). With the exception of a notable rise in the number of robberies in 2005/06 and 2006/07 there was a general downward trend between 2002/03 and 2009/10 in England and Wales. The latest figure shows the number of robbery offences falling to 67,462, the lowest level since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03 (Figure 5).

In the year ending December 2012, 91% of robberies recorded by the police were of personal property. The police recorded 61,205 of these offences, down 13% compared with the previous year. Robbery of business property (which makes up the remaining 9% of total robbery offences) fell by 11% compared with the previous year continuing the recent downward trend. In the year ending December 2012, around one in five (21%) of robberies recorded by the police involved a knife or other sharp instrument, a similar level to the 22% recorded the previous year (Table 8).

Table 7a: Police recorded robbery - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Robbery offences 110,271 101,376 77,270 67,462
     Robbery of business property 11,066 9,454 7,062 6,257
     Robbery of personal property 99,205 91,922 70,208 61,205
Robbery rate per 1,000 population 2 2 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 7b: Police recorded robbery - percentage change

Engalnd and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Robbery offences -39 -33 -13
     Robbery of business property -43 -34 -11
     Robbery of personal property -38 -33 -13

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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The geographic concentration of robbery offences means that trends across England and Wales tend to reflect what is happening in a small number of metropolitan areas, and the Metropolitan Police force area in particular. The latest figures for the Metropolitan Police force area showed that robbery levels for the year ending December 2012 were down by 8% from the previous year. This follows increases in robberies in the Metropolitan Police force area in the year ending December 2011 (13%) and the year ending December 2010 (7%). Falls in robbery were also seen in other large metropolitan police force areas, most notably the West Midlands (down by 2,407 offences; 30%), Greater Manchester (down by 418 offences 9%) and West Yorkshire (down 413 offences, 16%), ( Table P2 (166 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

Data for selected serious offences recorded by the police involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument have been collected for a number of years1. Only data for the last two years are compared in this section because up until April 2010 there were known inconsistencies in recording practices between forces2.

In the year ending December 2012, the police recorded 27,415 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a 16% decrease compared with the previous year (32,663, Table 8). Analysis of selected individual offence groups shows that the fall in knife or sharp instrument offences is largely due to reductions in the numbers of robbery offences involving a knife or sharp instrument (down 18% compared with the previous year) and actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm offences3 (down 14%); a pattern that is consistent with the overall reductions in violence against the person with injury offences.

Table 8: Number and proportion of selected violent and sexual offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded by the police(2)

England and Wales

Numbers and percentages(3)
Selected offence type   Number of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument   % change year ending December 2011 to year ending December 2012   Proportion of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument
  Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012     Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
                 
                 
Attempted murder   238 215   -10   51 48
Threats to kill   1,257 1,150   -9   16 16
Actual bodily harm & grievous bodily harm4   13,466 11,583   -14   4 4
Robbery   17,145 14,011   -18   22 21
Rape   246 191   -22   2 1
Sexual assault5   82 84   2   0 0
                 
Total selected offences   32,434 27,234   -16   7 6
                 
Homicide6   229 181   -21   39 35
                 
Total selected offences including homicide   32,663 27,415   -16   7 6
                 

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. Police recorded knife and sharp instrument offences data are submitted via an additional special collection. Proportions of offences involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument presented in this table are calculated based on figures submitted in this special collection. Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument.

  3. Three police forces include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection. As such, data for these forces are not directly comparable to data for other forces. The three forces are: Surrey, Sussex and British Transport Police.

  4. Changes to offence codes in April 2012 mean the category of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm is not directly comparable over the time period. However, these changes are not expected to affect the totals presented in this table. See Table A4 for more details.

  5. Sexual assault includes indecent assault on a male/female and sexual assault on a male/female (all ages).

  6. Homicide offences are those currently recorded by the police as at 3 December 2012 and are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

  7. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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The number of homicides involving a knife or sharp instrument decreased 21% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (down from 229 offences to 181 offences). The number of rapes involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police was also down by 22% from 246 offences to 191. The relatively low number of attempted murders, homicides, rapes and sexual assaults that involve the use of a knife or sharp instrument means percentage changes should be interpreted with caution.

The proportion of selected violent offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending December 2012 was 6%. This was a similar proportion to that for the previous year (7%, Table 8), and to the proportion of 2011/12 CSEW offences which involved a knife (7%, Nature of violent crime table 7.9). Just over a third of homicides involved a knife or sharp instrument (35%) and just under a half of attempted murders (48%), showing little change with the previous year.

An additional source of information about incidents involving serious violence is provided by NHS hospital admission statistics. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument peaked at 5,720 in 2006/07. Admissions have declined since that year, and in the year ending September 2012 there were 4,121 admissions, a 12% decrease on the previous year, returning levels to those shown in 2002/034.

Notes for Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

  1. A sharp instrument is any object that pierces the skin (or in the case of a threat, is capable of piercing the skin) for example a broken bottle.

  2. West Midlands Police force included unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns but now exclude these offences in line with other forces.

  3. Changes to offence codes in April 2012 mean the individual categories of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm are not directly comparable over the time period. However, these changes are not expected to affect the totals of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. See Appendix table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) for more details.

  4. Year ending September 2012 figures are available in the latest Hospital Episode Statistics; a graph based on financial years is available in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.

Offences involving firearms

Provisional1 statistics for the year ending December 2012 are available for police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons (referred to as firearm offences). Firearms are taken to be involved in an offence if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat. For detailed information on firearm trends and the circumstances of firearm offences recorded in 2011/12 see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.

Figures for the year ending December 2012 show that 5,128 firearm offences were recorded in England and Wales, an 18% decrease on the previous year (6,231) (Tables 9a and 9b).

Figure 6 shows the trend from 2002/03 and indicates that since 2005/06 there has been a general decrease in the number of firearm offences recorded by the police. The volume of such offences has fallen by almost a half (47%) from 2006/07 (Table 9b), and has more than halved since 2005/06.

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded crimes involving firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded crimes involving firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 2002/03 to 2009/10 refers to the financial year (April to March). b) The last two data points refer to the rolling 12 month time period for the past two years (January to December).

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Table 9a: Police recorded firearm offences(2) – numbers

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Firearm offences 10,248 9,645 6,231 5,128

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. Firearms data are provisional. Excludes offences involving the use of air weapons and offences recorded by British Transport Police. Includes crimes recorded by police where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

  3. For detailed footnotes and futher years see Appendix table A4.

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 9b: Police recorded firearm offences(1) - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Firearm offences -50 -47 -18

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Firearms data are provisional. Excludes offences involving the use of air weapons and offences recorded by British Transport Police. Includes crimes recorded by police where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Offences involving firearms

  1. Firearms data are provisional figures supplied by the police as at 29 November 2012. Final figures for firearm offences for the time period April 2011 to March 2012 were published on 7 February 2013.

Sexual offences

It is difficult to obtain reliable information on the volume of sexual offences as it is known that a high proportion of offences are not reported to the police and changes in recorded figures may reflect changes in reporting or recording rates rather than actual victimisation. For these reasons, caution should be used when interpreting trends in these offences (for more information see ‘An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales’ or ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’).

Police recorded crime figures showed a fall of 3% in all sexual offences for the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 10a and 10b). This follows a decrease of 5% reported in the previous bulletin. Latest figures will include the 214 crimes recently recorded as a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry which have been widely reported in the media1. Such offences are recorded according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence and not the year in which the incident took place. However, the overall impact of offences covered by Yewtree on the volume of sexual offences will be small as the additional 214 offences are equivalent to a 0.4% increase in police recorded sexual offences. Evidence from HMIC (2013) suggests that a longer term and more substantial ‘Yewtree effect’ may occur as a result of increased willingness on the part of victims to come forward and report historical sexual offences.

The most serious sexual crime (including rape and sexual assault) decreased over the same period (by 3%), while the number of other sexual offences decreased by 1%.

The latest reduction in sexual offences recorded by the police follows rises in 2009/10 and 2010/11 preceded by longer term reductions since 2005/06 ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Extra guidance for the recording of sexual offences was incorporated into the Home Office Counting Rules from 1 April 2010 and this reflected good practice guidance issued prior to this by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). This is likely to have been a factor driving year-on-year increases seen in the number of sexual offences recorded in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Table 10a: Police recorded sexual offences - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2012 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Sexual offences 58,890 57,522 54,716 53,203
     Most serious sexual crime 45,317 43,738 45,626 44,225
     Other sexual offences 13,573 13,784 9,090 8,978
Sexual offences rate per 1,000 population 1 1 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 10b: Police recorded sexual offences - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Sexual offences -10 -8 -3
     Most serious sexual crime -2 1 -3
     Other sexual offences -34 -35 -1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Due to the small number of sexual offences identified in the main CSEW crime count, results are too unreliable to report. Since 2004/05, the CSEW has included a self-completion questionnaire module on intimate violence2. Detailed findings from this module for the year ending March 2012 CSEW are available in the ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’, and are also summarised in the Annual trend and demographic tables D15-D17.

Notes for Sexual offences

  1. See HMIC’s 2013 report ‘Mistakes were made’

  2. See section 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding intimate violence.

Burglary

Despite some fluctuations from year to year, the underlying trend in burglary has remained fairly flat in the CSEW since 2004/05 (Figure 7). Although there has been a statistically significant 13% fall, based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year, levels are similar to those estimated from the 2009/10 survey, and the first CSEW in 1981 (Tables 11a and 11b and Appendix Table A1 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

All sub-categories of burglary showed similar decreases when compared with those collected in the previous survey year. While the overall category of burglary showed a statistically significant change year on year, the apparent decreases in sub-categories were not individually statistically significant. CSEW burglary follows a similar pattern seen for overall CSEW crime, peaking in the 1993 survey and then falling steeply until the 2004/05 survey.

Figure 7: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 7: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Prior to 2004/05 there were notable declines in CSEW burglary, and estimates from the year ending December 2012 are 34% lower than those in the 2001/02 survey and 64% lower than the 1995 survey. This reduction is reflected in the percentage of households that had been victims of burglary in the last year, with around 2 in 100 households being victims in the year ending December 2012 survey compared with around 6 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Households are thus now around three times less likely to be a victim of burglary than in 1995 (Table 11a).

The ‘Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 – Burglary’ release contains the latest analysis of the context and circumstances around CSEW burglary, showing, for example, that burgled households are much less likely to have security features than non-burgled ones (Table 1.1.4). Further analysis, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, will be published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime’.

Table 11a: CSEW burglary – number, rate and percentage of incidents

England and Wales

Households
  Interviews from:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
  Thousands      
Number of burglary incidents 1,735 958 703 731 633
Burglary incidence rate per 1,000 households 84 44 31              31              27
  Percentage      
Percentage of households that were victims of burglary once or more 6.4 3.4 2.5 2.4 2.1
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 32,370 47,027     46,732     36,595

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2.  For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 11b: CSEW burglary – percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Households
       January to December 2012 compared with:  
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011  
  Percentage change and significance1    
Number of burglary incidents -64 * -34 * -10 * -13 *  
Burglary incidence rate per 1,000 households -68 * -39 * -14   -14 *  
  Percentage point change and significance1,2  
Percentage of households that were victims of burglary once or more -4.3 * -1.3 * -0.4 * -0.3 *  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 12a: Police recorded burglary - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Burglary offences 890,099 622,012 512,269 468,217
     Burglary in a dwelling 437,583 292,260 250,739 230,300
     Burglary in a building other than a dwelling 452,516 329,752 261,530 237,917
Burglary rate per 1,000 population 17 12 9 8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 12b: Police recorded burglary - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Burglary offences -47 -25 -9
     Burglary in a dwelling -47 -21 -8
     Burglary in a building other than a dwelling -47 -28 -9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Comparing the number of burglary offences recorded by the police in the year ending December 2012 with the previous year, burglary in a dwelling decreased by 8% while burglary in a building other than a dwelling1 fell by 9% (Tables 12a and 12b). The latest level of burglary recorded by the police is 47% lower than the level recorded in 2002/03.

Notes for Burglary

  1. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

Vehicle offences

Estimates of CSEW vehicle-related theft1 for the year ending December 2012 showed a statistically significant decrease of 10% compared with the previous year (Table 13a and 13b). The latest estimate shows around 1.1 million vehicle-related thefts against the household population in England and Wales, compared with around 1.2 million in the previous year. All categories of CSEW vehicle crime showed decreases over this period, although only attempted thefts of or from vehicles were statistically significant, showing a 20% decrease. The ‘Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 – Vehicle Related Theft’ release contains the latest analysis on the context and circumstances around CSEW vehicle crime and shows, for example, that over the last decade decreasing proportions of vehicle-related thefts have involved forcing locks or breaking windows, and increasing proportions have involved cars not being locked (Table 2.3).

Over the longer term the CSEW indicates a consistent downward trend in levels of vehicle-related theft, with the latest estimates being 34% lower than those observed in the 2006/07 survey, and 57% lower than the 2001/02 survey. As shown in Figure 8, the rate of reduction in vehicle offences since the mid-1990s has been striking, and a widely accepted theory is that this is in part due to improvements in vehicle security2. The latest estimates indicate that a vehicle-owning household was around 4 times less likely to become a victim of vehicle-related theft in the 2011/12 survey than in 1995, with 5 in 100 vehicle-owning households being victims in the year ending December 2012 survey compared with around 20 in 100 households in the 1995 survey (Table 13a).

Figure 8: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 8: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Table 13a: CSEW vehicle offences – number, rate and percentage of incidents

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
  Interviews from:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
  Thousands      
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents 4,266 2,467 1,635 1,195 1,073
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households 280 151 93              65              58
  Percentage      
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more 19.7 11.3 7.5 5.4 4.8
Unweighted base - vehicle owners 11,721 25,022 37,526     37,138     28,760

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 13b: CSEW vehicle offences - percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
     January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
  Percentage change and significance1  
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents -75 * -57 * -34 * -10 *
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households -79 * -61 * -37 * -11 *
  Percentage point change and significance1,2              
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more -14.9 * -6.5 * -2.6 * -0.6 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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The police recorded category of offences against vehicles covers both private and commercial vehicles. This showed a fall of 8% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 14a and 14b). This follows substantial decreases in this offence group with falls of 49% since 2006/07 and 63% compared with 2002/03. These trends are similar to those found in the CSEW. The most recent data show that all three categories of police recorded offences against vehicles have continued to fall, including theft of a motor vehicle falling by 16% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) and Table 14b).

Table 14a: Police recorded vehicle offences - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Offences against vehicles 1,074,659 765,015 425,635 393,041
     Theft of a motor vehicle 318,507 193,384 97,052 81,973
     Theft from a vehicle 663,679 502,651 302,482 287,829
     Interfering with a motor vehicle 92,473 68,980 26,101 23,239
Offences against vehicles2 rate per 1,000 population  21 14 8 7

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. Includes theft of motor vehicle, theft from a vehicle, aggravated vehicle taking and interfering with a motor vehicle.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 14b: Police recorded vehicle offences - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Offences against vehicles -63 -49 -8
     Theft of a motor vehicle -74 -58 -16
     Theft from a vehicle -57 -43 -5
     Interfering with a motor vehicle -75 -66 -11

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Vehicle offences

  1. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.
  2. See ‘Trends in Crime: a Short Story, 2011/12’.

Other theft of property

The CSEW and police recorded crime also measure other theft of property in addition to burglary and vehicle-related thefts. In the CSEW this comprises: theft from the person; other theft of personal property; bicycle theft; and other household theft. Figure 10 shows trends in selected offences which are the subject of further discussion below. Incidents of theft experienced by 10 to 15 year olds can be found in the ‘crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’ section of this bulletin. Further analysis, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, will be published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime’.

There are substantial overlaps between theft offences in the two data series, however the CSEW shows a larger volume, while police recorded theft is broader, covering a wider variety of offences. For example, police recorded crime includes theft against commercial victims and offences of handling stolen goods. The offences that contribute to police recorded other theft crimes are listed in Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Other theft offences - police recorded crime

This offence group makes up more than a quarter of all crime recorded by the police. The most recent data showed a 7% decrease compared with the previous year with a fall evident in the majority of force areas ( Tables P1 and P2 (166 Kb Excel sheet) ). This is in contrast to a recent upward trend in other theft offences recorded by the police in the past two years, which followed a longer downward trend between 2002/03 and 2009/10, and is discussed further in the ‘theft or unauthorised taking offences’ section (Figure 9 and Table 16b).

Figure 9: Trends in police recorded other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Figure 9: Trends in police recorded other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 2002/03 to 2009/10 refers to the financial year (April to March). b) The last two data points refer to the rolling 12 month time period for the past two years (January to December).

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The main sub-categories of the other theft group for both CSEW and police recorded crime are discussed in the relevant sections.

Theft from the person – CSEW and police recorded crime

Estimates of the volume of theft from the person (for example pick-pocketing) offences are subject to notable fluctuations from year to year in the CSEW. The majority of these thefts (90% in the 2011/12 CSEW) are made up of stealth thefts where, at the time the offence was committed, the victim was unaware that the items they were carrying were being stolen. The ‘Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 – Personal and Other Theft’ release contains the latest analysis on the context and circumstances around these incidents, showing, for example, the items stolen.

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in theft from the person based on interviews in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (the apparent 3% decrease was not statistically significant) (Tables 15a and 15b). This follows an unusually high estimate measured by the 2008/09 survey when there was a significant increase, followed by a significant decrease in 2009/10 (Figure 10). This year’s non-statistically significant decrease suggests the trend might be flattening, returning to the level seen during the period of stability between the 2003/04 and 2007/08 surveys.

The police recorded crime category theft from the person accounts for less than 3% of overall police recorded crime. Latest police recorded crime figures show an 8% increase in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). The levels of these offences have been rising in recent years, with the latest level some 20% higher than that in 2008/09 ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Despite this, falls occurring between 2002/03 and 2008/09 mean that the number of theft from the person offences recorded in the year ending December 2012 was 6% lower than in 2006/07 and 28% lower than in 2002/03.

Further analysis of theft from the person figures shows that, as with robbery, these offences are concentrated in London, with 45% occurring in the Metropolitan Police force area. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is being driven by increases in mobile phone thefts, especially against younger victims. A widely reported increase in the number of thefts from the person committed in London by criminals on bicycles and mopeds may also be a contributory factor1. The 8% increase in theft from the person in England and Wales for the year to December 2012 is therefore being driven by a 20% increases in the Metropolitan Police force area2. If London is excluded the number of such offences in the remainder of England and Wales shows a small increase of less than 1%, compared with the previous year.

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW theft from the person and other household theft, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW theft from the person and other household theft, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Other household theft – CSEW

This offence group consists of items stolen from outside the victim’s home as well as burglaries from non-connected buildings, such as sheds, and thefts in the victim’s dwelling by someone entitled to be there, for example a workman3. Around half of these incidents involve theft of garden furniture or household items/furniture taken from outside the dwelling; these thefts are generally opportunistic in nature. The ‘Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 – Other Household Theft’ release contains the latest analysis on the context and circumstances around these incidents, showing, for example the increasing diversity of items stolen (Table 4.3).

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2012 it was estimated that there were around 1.4 million incidents of other household theft (Tables 15a and 15b), making up 15% of all CSEW crime. There was no change in CSEW other household theft in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (the apparent 4% increase was not statistically significant). However, this follows another non-statistically significant increase in the previous year of 8%, and the current level is 18% higher than that of 2009/10 (a statistically significant increase, Table A1). The volume of other household theft is now 31% higher than the level measured by the 2007/08 survey. However, this should be seen in the context of prior reductions; the latest figures being 39% lower than in 1995.

Other theft of personal property – CSEW

There were an estimated 1.0 million incidents of other theft of personal property in the survey year ending December 2012. These are theft offences which involve items stolen from victims while away from the home but not being carried on the person (such as theft of unattended property in pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues, workplaces etc). The apparent 5% decrease in other theft of personal property compared with the previous survey year was not statistically significant. Estimates have fluctuated in recent years and the latest figures are similar to those measured in 2007/08, 2009/10 and 2010/11. Looking at the longer term trend, theft of other personal property saw marked declines from the mid-1990s and levels have halved compared with the 1995 CSEW ( Appendix Table A1 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Bicycle theft – CSEW and police recorded crime

The apparent 12% increase in bicycle theft incidents, based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year, was not statistically significant (Tables 15a and 15b). The percentage of bicycle owning households that were victims of bicycle theft was 3.4%, similar to the previous year. This is one of the lower volume CSEW offence groups and can show large fluctuations from year to year. The longer term trend in CSEW bicycle theft gives some indication of increases over the last ten years, with, for example, a statistically significant increase of 33% since the 2001/02 survey. Appendix Table A1 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) suggests that, like other household theft, these incidents showed a marked decline between 1995 and the 2001/02 survey, with smaller increases thereafter, although the variability means that trends have to be interpreted with caution.

Bicycle thefts recorded by the police decreased by 10% in the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). It is too early to say whether this represents an emerging downward trend as the longer term trend is fairly stable, with numbers of bicycle thefts recorded by the police showing small fluctuations around the current level (102,179 offences in the year ending December 2012) for most of the last decade. It should be noted that the 5% increase compared with 2002/03 shown in Table 16b is a result of comparisons against relatively low volumes of bicycle thefts in that year (97,755).

Other theft or unauthorised taking offences - police recorded crime

The main driver of the decrease seen in the overall offence group of other theft is the sub-category other theft or unauthorised taking. These offences involve theft of unattended property and as figures include theft of both personal property (such as unattended wallets and phones) and property from outside people’s homes (for example garden furniture and tools), there is some overlap with CSEW categories of other theft of personal property and other household theft.

This police recorded crime category also includes crimes against organisations which are not covered by the CSEW, such as theft of metal or industrial equipment. It is not possible to identify these specific types of theft in centrally held police recorded crime data.

This sub-category of other theft or unauthorised taking saw a 13% decrease for the year ending December 2012 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). This follows a 13% increase between 2009/10 and 2011/12, which is likely to have been caused in part by the recent surge in metal theft. Anecdotal evidence suggests that such offences are decreasing4, and should be seen in the context of new metal theft legislation which will come into force in May 2013 which increases fines for existing offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964, and introduces a new offence for dealers of paying for scrap metal in cash.

Table 15a: CSEW other theft of property – number, rate and percentage of incidents

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  Interviews from:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
Number of incidents Thousands      
Theft from the person 680 604 574 595 575
Other theft of personal property 2,069 1,407 1,142 1,076 1,023
Other household theft 2,223 1,429 1,171 1,304 1,355
Bicycle theft 660 364 466 429 482
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households          
Theft from the person 17 14 13              13              13
Other theft of personal property 51 34 26              24              23
Other household theft 107 66 52              56              57
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 71 42 46              37              39
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more Percentage      
Theft from the person 1.6 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2
Other theft of personal property 4.1 2.8 2.2 2.1 2.0
Unweighted base - personal crime 16,337 32,787 47,138 46,761 36,625
Other household theft 7.6 4.8 4.0 4.3 4.4
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 32,720 47,027     46,732     36,595
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 6.1 3.7 4.0 3.3 3.4
Unweighted base - bicycle owners 6,882 13,501 21,054     21,978     17,444

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 15b: CSEW other theft of property - percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance1
Theft from the person -15 * -5   0   -3  
Other theft of personal property -51 * -27 * -10 * -5  
Other household theft -39 * -5 * 16 * 4  
Bicycle theft -27 * 33 * 3   12  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households                
Theft from the person -24 * -12   -4   -4  
Other theft of personal property -56 * -33 * -14 * -6  
Other household theft -47 * -13 * 10 * 3  
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -46 * -8   -16 * 3  
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance1,2
Theft from the person -0.4 * -0.1   0.0   -0.1  
Other theft of personal property -2.1 * -0.8 * -0.3 * -0.1  
Other household theft -3.2 * -0.4 * 0.4 * 0.1  
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -2.7 * -0.3   -0.6 * 0.1  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 16a: Police recorded other theft - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Other theft offences2 1,336,924 1,180,802 1,108,641 1,031,523
     of which:        
       Theft from the person 148,488 114,852 99,396 107,471
       Theft of a pedal cycle 97,755 110,526 114,037 102,179
       Shoplifting 310,881 294,282 305,107 299,509
       Other theft or unauthorised taking 647,827 536,603 501,189 436,664
Other theft rate per 1,000 population 26 22 20 19

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For full range of offences included in other theft see Appendix table A4.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 16b: Police recorded other theft - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Other theft offences1 -23 -13 -7
     of which:      
       Theft from the person -28 -6 8
       Theft of a pedal cycle 5 -8 -10
       Shoplifting -4 2 -2
       Other theft or unauthorised taking -33 -19 -13

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For full range of offences included in other theft see Appendix table A4.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Other theft of property

  1. Based on figures provided by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a freedom of information (FOI) request by the media.

  2. Figures for each offence recorded by the police, broken down by Police Force Area, can be obtained from the Home Office’s Local Police Recorded Crime Data tables.

  3. For more details on the offences that constitute CSEW other household theft see Section 5.2 and Appendix 2 of the User Guide.

  4. For example, Network Rail have reported decreases in the number of incidents of cable theft affecting rail passengers between 2010/11 and 2012/13.

Vandalism and criminal damage

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2012 there were 1.8 million incidents of vandalism of personal and household property, a statistically significant decrease of 7% from the previous year (Tables 17a and 17b). Figure 11 shows the CSEW long-term trend for vandalism which has a different pattern compared with most other CSEW crime groups. Vandalism incidents peaked in 1993 at 3.4 million followed by a modest fall, compared with other CSEW offence types until the 2003/04 survey (2.4 million). This was followed by a short upward trend until the 2006/07 CSEW, after which there were some year on year falls, with levels dropping to 1.8 million in the latest survey year.

Incidents of damage to personal property experienced by 10 to 15 year olds can be found in the ‘crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’ section of this bulletin. The ‘Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 – Vandalism’ give the latest analysis on the context and circumstances around these incidents.

Tables 17a and 17b show the recent downward trend in this offence group, with statistically significant decreases compared with both the 2006/07 and 2001/02 survey years. This downward trend in incidents is also reflected in the percentage of households victimised. Five in 100 households were victims of vandalism in the year ending December 2012 compared with around 10 in 100 households in 1995.

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. The data on this chart refer to different time periods: a) 1981 to 1999 refer to crimes experienced in the calendar year (January to December); b) From 2001/02 onwards the estimates relate to crimes experienced in the 12 months before interview, based on interviews carried out in that financial year (April to March); and c) the last two data points relate to interviews carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

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Table 17a: CSEW vandalism - number and percentage of incidents

England and Wales

Households
  Interviews from:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 20121
  Thousands      
Number of vandalism incidents 3,300 2,575 2,896 1,948 1,811
Vandalism incidence rate per 1,000 households 159 118 128              83              76
  Percentage      
Percentage of households that were victims of vandalism once or more 10.1 7.3 7.9 5.7 5.2
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 32,370 47,027     46,732     36,595

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  3. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Table 17b: CSEW vandalism - percentage change and statistical significance

England and Wales

Households
     January to December 2012 compared with:
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
  Percentage change and significance1  
Number of vandalism incidents -45 * -30 * -37 * -7 *
Vandalism incidence rate per 1,000 households -52 * -36 * -40 * -8 *
  Percentage point change and significance1,2
Percentage of households that were victims of vandalism once or more -4.9 * -2.1 * -2.7 * -0.5 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Statistically significant change at the 5% level is indicated by an asterisk.

  2. The percentage point change presented in the tables may differ from subtraction of the two percentages due to rounding.

  3. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix tables A1, A2, A3.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Police recorded crime also shows reductions in the similar offence group of criminal damage though this also includes victims beyond the household population (eg businesses)1. In the year ending December 2012 there were 553,356 offences recorded, a fall of 15% from the previous year (Tables 18a and 18b). Reductions were seen within all types of criminal damage recorded by the police ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) )2. Criminal damage offences have seen a marked fall since 2006/07 whereas previously the pattern had been fairly flat since 2002/03.

Table 18a: Police recorded criminal damage offences - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Criminal damage offences 1,120,610 1,185,040 651,443 553,356
Criminal damage rate per 1,000 population 22 22 12 10

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 18b: Police recorded criminal damage offences - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Criminal damage offences -51 -53 -15

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Vandalism and criminal damage

  1. See Section 5.3 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

  2. Some individual offences within criminal damage are not comparable between the years ending December 2011 and December 2012 owing to offence classification changes introduced in April 2012, however comparisons for total criminal damage are valid.

Other police recorded offences

Other police recorded offences comprise drug offences and the offence group other miscellaneous1. Table 19a shows the number of offences and rates per 1,000 population for these offences and table 19b shows the percentage change over time.

Table 19a: Police recorded other offences - number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Drug offences 143,320 194,233 233,721 211,791
Other miscellaneous offences 64,011 75,739 61,747 56,813
Drug offences rate per 1,000 population 3 4 4 4
Other miscellaneous offences rate per 1,000 population 1 1 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).

  2. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 19b: Police recorded other offences - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  January 2012 to December 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2002 to Mar 2003 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Drug offences 48 9 -9
Other miscellaneous offences -11 -25 -8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. For detailed footnotes and further years see Appendix table A4.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Police recorded 211,791 drug offences in the year ending December 2012, a decrease of 9% compared with the previous year. Drug offences peaked in 2008/09 at 243,536 offences and have since remained fairly consistent at between 245,000 and the current level of around 212,000 offences per year ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). Despite the recent decreases, the number of drug offences recorded in the year ending December 2012 remains 48% higher than the number recorded in 2002/03 and 9% higher than the number recorded in 2006/07.

The number of drug offences recorded by the police is heavily dependent on police activities and priorities. As a result, changes over time may reflect changes in the policing of drug crime rather than real changes in its incidence. In recent years the police were given powers:

  • to issue warnings on the street (rather than at a police station) for possession of cannabis offences (April 2004); and

  • to issue penalty notices for disorder for possession of cannabis (January 2009).

In the year ending December 2012, as in the previous year, possession of cannabis offences accounted for 69% of all police recorded drug offences. For information on drug use see the Home Office’s 2011/12 Drug Misuse Declared publication.

The other miscellaneous offences category constituted less than 2% of all recorded crime in the year ending December 2012, and contains a variety of offences from those against the state to perverting the course of justice, and going equipped for stealing. The latest figures show a reduction of 8% compared with the previous year (Table 19b).

Notes for Other police recorded offences

  1. Other miscellaneous offences include offences such as possession of firearms offences, going equipped for stealing, offences against the state and public order, perverting the course of justice and dangerous driving. For a full list of offences within this category see Appendix table A4.

Fraud

The extent of fraud is difficult to measure because it is a deceptive crime, often targeted at organisations rather than individuals. Victims of fraud may be unaware they have been a victim of crime, or may be unaware that any fraudulent activity has occurred. As such, many incidents of fraud may not be reported to the police or recalled by survey respondents. Fraud is also inherently different from other crimes in that one fraud offence can potentially affect thousands of victims. It may also be difficult to ascertain where the offence originated or took place (for example via the internet).

The National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics for England and Wales in June 2011 identified fraud as one of the more important gaps in crime statistics and recommended that data from additional sources should be provided alongside existing available data in quarterly National Statistics. This section draws on a range of sources including police recorded crime, the CSEW and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). Together these help to provide a fuller picture. For more information on the different sources of fraud data, see section 5.4 of the User Guide.

Action Fraud is the public face of the NFIB and acts as a national reporting centre that records incidents of fraud directly from the public and organisations. It was created to provide support and fraud prevention advice to victims and to enable a co-ordinated approach to analysing and tackling fraud. As of 1 April 2013 it took over full responsibility from the police for recording all fraud offences. However, forgery offences continue to be recorded by the police. All police forces in England and Wales refer reports of fraud, including financially motivated e-crime, to Action Fraud. As police recorded fraud offences decrease, the amount of fraud reported by the NFIB will increase. Their data will continue to be included in the quarterly crime statistics publications.

Changes to the way in which police record crimes of fraud and forgery following the introduction of the Fraud Act 2006 mean that year on year comparisons are only possible from 2007/08 onwards. Changes should be taken in the context of the known under-reporting of fraud to the police, and the transfer of responsibility for recording fraud offences from police forces to Action Fraud. See section 5.4 of the User Guide for more details on police recorded fraud and forgery.

In the year ending December 2012, the police recorded 136,141 fraud and forgery offences. This is a decrease from the 142,715 offences recorded in the year ending December 2011, although this should be seen in the context of the move towards the central recording of fraud offences, some of which now appear in figures supplied by the NFIB rather than from forces (Table 20). Since peaking in 2008/09, the number of police recorded fraud and forgery offences has decreased each year within this comparable period ( Appendix Table A4 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) ). This trend has continued in the years ending December 2011 and December 2012, although, as explained above, it is likely that this does not reflect the real trend in this type of offence.

Table 20: Police recorded fraud and forgery(1) – number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr 2007 to Mar 2008 Apr 2008 to Mar 2009 Apr 2009  to Mar 2010 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
Fraud and forgery offences 155,439 163,159 152,272 142,715 136,141
Fraud and forgery rate per 1,000 population 3 3 3 3 2

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on all data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police). Between April 2011 and September 2012, five police forces had transferred responsibility for recording selected fraud offences to Action Fraud; by the 1 April 2013 all forces had transferred responsibility.

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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The NFIB collates and analyses data from three sources: Action Fraud, CIFAS (a UK-wide fraud prevention service) and Financial Fraud Action UK (which collates information from the card payments industry in the UK) and will be sourcing data from additional financial and fraud prevention institutions in the future. These data are not National Statistics and are subject to ongoing development before they should be seen as providing an authoritative measure of fraud. In the future, these data will be higher in volume as all police forces in England and Wales record relevant fraud offences via Action Fraud.

The NFIB reported 441,174 offences of fraud in the UK in the year ending December 2012 (Table 21; see Appendix Table A5 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) for a full breakdown of NFIB fraud offences by type). As some NFIB data sources are UK-wide it is not possible to report these data for England and Wales only due to the difficulty in determining where a fraud offence occurred. Figures here include incidents where the victim was based in the UK. 

Table 21: Fraud offences recorded by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, year ending December 2012 (non-National Statistics)

United Kingdom Numbers
Banking and payment related fraud                  336,240
Purchase fraud                     37,971
Advance fee fraud                     33,780
Telecommunications industry fraud                     11,450
Insurance related fraud                       8,710
Computer misuse                       7,218
Investment fraud                       3,939
Other fraud                          630
Consumer phone fraud                          355
Corporate employee fraud                          315
Charities and grants                          281
Business trading fraud                          151
Retail fraud                          115
Corporate procurement fraud                             19
   
Total                  441,174

Table source: National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

Table notes:

  1. For an explanation and examples of the fraud offences within each category see appendix table A5 and section 5.4 of the User Guide.

  2. There was a small error in the NFIB recording system during the first quarter of 2012 whereby some offences within purchase fraud were incorrectly recorded as advance fee frauds. Offences have been reassigned to the correct fraud type, although figures remain subject to further revision once NFIB records have been updated.

  3. Caution must be taken when interpreting the telecommunications industry fraud figures which have seen relatively large decreases over the last few quarters. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that this is due to the industry turning their attention to other areas, leading to them discovering, and hence reporting, fewer incidents of fraud. This, together with increases seen in customer reported telecommunications fraud, suggests this figure is likely to be an underestimate.

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Over three quarters of the fraud offences recorded by the NFIB are banking and payment related and involve cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts. This proportion may change as more police forces pass responsibility for recording fraud offences to Action Fraud. Some fraud categories are currently supplied with data from Action Fraud only, for example computer misuse (hacking, viruses) and advance fee fraud (where a victim is encouraged to make a payment for something that never materialises). These categories are more likely to show increases as more police forces begin passing on fraud offences to Action Fraud than those categories that are already populated by industry sources such as banking and payment related fraud by the UK Cards Association and telecommunications industry fraud by CIFAS. For more information on the types of offences within each of the NFIB categories see section 5.4 of the User Guide and Appendix Table A5 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Elements of banking and payment related fraud are the focus of a module of questions in the CSEW, which asks respondents about their experience of plastic card fraud (though plastic card fraud theft itself is not included in the main CSEW crime count). The year ending December 2012 CSEW showed that 4.6% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, with no statistically significant difference from the 4.9% estimated in the year ending December 2011. The level of plastic card fraud is at a similar level to that measured in 2007/08 (Figure 12). Despite the decrease shown since 2009/10, this level of victimisation remains higher than more established acquisitive offences such as theft from the person and other theft of personal property (1.2% and 2.0% respectively, Table 15a). Further analysis, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, will be published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime’.

Figure 12: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending December 2012

Figure 12: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. Data for 2006/07 are not shown as the module of questions on plastic card fraud was not included in the 2006/07 CSEW.

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As well as the recent falls in plastic card owners experiencing card fraud (according to the CSEW), there have been decreases in the losses reported by the UK Cards Association. They reported plastic card fraud losses of £388 million for UK-issued cards in 2012. Alongside increases in the number and value of transactions taking place, this was an increase of 14% from the £341 million reported for 2011, but a decrease of 36% from a peak of £610 million recorded in 20081.

The industry suggests that a combination of the use of fraud screening detection tools by retailers, banks and the cards industry, the introduction of chip and pin technology, enhanced user and industry awareness and improved prevention and detection initiatives have led to the decrease in plastic card fraud. More detailed information including a breakdown of plastic card fraud by type in the UK and abroad, is available from the UK Cards Association.  

Notes for Fraud

  1. The UK Cards Association collates data on credit card, debit card and online banking fraud. The NFIB dataset contains UK Cards Association incidents of confirmed fraud with losses only.

Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

Since January 2009, the CSEW has asked children aged 10 to 15 resident in households in England and Wales about their experience of crime in the previous 12 months. Preliminary results from the first calendar year were published in 2010 (Millard and Flatley). The results for 2010/11 were published in two reports (Chaplin et al and Smith et al). The questionnaire was refined again for the 2011/12 survey. The changes to the questions and definitions used should be borne in mind when interpreting the figures and hence no statistical assessment of change in levels of victimisation between the years is presented (see the ‘Further Information’ section for more details). Methodological differences also mean that direct comparisons cannot be made between the adult and child data (Millard and Flatley).

The number of incidents for the three available years of the survey and the year ending December 2012 are shown in tables 22-24. Two approaches to measuring crime are used. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incident (such as relationship to the offender and level of injury or value of item stolen or damaged). In addition to offences included in the preferred method, the ‘Broad measure’ also includes minor offences between children and family members that would not normally be treated as criminal matters. Results commented on in this section refer only to the preferred measure of crime, although the tables show both figures for completeness. More details about these two measures can be found in the ‘Further Information’ section.

Overall level of crime – preferred measure

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2012, there were an estimated 877,000 crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 using the preferred measure; of this number just over a half were violent crimes (481,000) while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (355,000). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (42,000 incidents).

Thirteen per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had been a victim of any crime covered by the CSEW in the past 12 months; that includes 6% who had been a victim of a violent crime and 8% who had been a victim of personal theft (Tables 22 to 24). Although there were more violent incidents than theft offences, violent incidents affect a smaller proportion of 10 to 15 year olds than theft offences do, because they are more likely to be repeated against the same victim.

Table 22: CSEW offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
    Thousands:      
Number of incidents 1,030 893 1,023 877
    Percentage:      
Percentage who were victims once or more 14.6 11.7           15.0           13.4
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013
    Broad measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
    Thousands:      
Number of incidents 2,071 1,507 1,513 1,298
    Percentage:      
Percentage who were victims once or more 24.5 17.3           20.1           18.2
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children. For more details see Further Information Section.

  2. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  3. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2011/12 estimates.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Violent offences – preferred measure

The CSEW estimates that there were 481,000 violent offences against children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending December 2012. Two thirds (68%) of these violent incidents resulted in injury to the victim. Although not directly comparable, 54% of violent incidents among adults aged 16 or over resulted in injury to the victim (Table 5a). Table 8.6 of Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 - Children aged 10-15 shows that the majority of injuries among 10 to 15 year olds were minor bruising or black eyes. These tables also show the particular nature of these offences for the 2011/12 CSEW, with Table 8.1 showing that 53% took place in or around school (based on the 2011/12 CSEW), and Table 8.3 showing that in 20% of incidents the offender was a stranger1.

The latest figures from the CSEW, year ending December 2012, show that 6% of children aged 10 to 15 had experienced violent crime in the last year; and 4% had experienced violence with injury (Table 23).

One per cent of children aged 10 to 15 were victims of robbery in the last year.

Table 23: CSEW violent offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
    Number of incidents (thousands)  
Violence 630 586 566 481
           
  Wounding 128 87 55 73
  Assault with minor injury 265 328 297 223
  Assault without injury 164 115 132 115
  Robbery 74 56 82 70
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 .. .. .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 .. .. .. ..
  Violence with injury 412 449 388 329
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 217 137 178 152
    Percentage who were victims once or more  
Violence 8.5 6.9 7.6 6.4
  Wounding 1.9 1.1 0.9 0.9
  Assault with minor injury 3.7 3.7 3.6 2.9
  Assault without injury 2.4 1.7 2.1 1.7
  Robbery 1.3 0.9 1.3 1.2
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 .. .. .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 .. .. .. ..
  Violence with injury 5.5 5.1 4.8 4.1
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 3.4 2.1 3.1 2.4
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013
    Broad measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
           
Violence 1,508 1,088 979 860
           
  Wounding 130 87 55 73
  Assault with minor injury 357 399 369 271
  Assault without injury 316 195 472 443
  Robbery 80 64 83 73
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 607 341 .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 18 3 .. ..
  Violence with injury 509 521 460 376
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 999 567 519 484
           
Violence 18.1 12.1 12.9 11.6
  Wounding 1.9 1.1 0.9 0.9
  Assault with minor injury 5.1 4.5 4.5 3.5
  Assault without injury 4.2 3.0 7.1 6.5
  Robbery 1.4 1.0 1.3 1.2
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 7.5 4.5 .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 0.2 0.1 .. ..
  Violence with injury 6.8 5.8 5.7 4.6
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 12.4 7.4 8.0 7.3
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children. For more details see Further Information Section.

  2. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see Appendix 1 for more details).

  4. For the years 2009/10 and 2010/11 'Violence without injury' includes unspecified crimes.

  5. Violence with injury includes wounding, assault with minor injury and robbery where injury was sustained. Violence without injury includes assault without injury and robbery with no injury plus, for the ‘Broad measure’, the unspecified offences of aggressive behaviour and theft with threat or force (these involve no injury otherwise further information would have been collected during the interview).

  6. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2011/12 estimates.

  7. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Property offences – preferred measure

There were an estimated 355,000 incidents of theft and 42,000 incidents of damage of personal property experienced by children aged 10 to 15 according to the year ending December 2012 CSEW. Two-thirds of the thefts were other theft of personal property (234,000 incidents) which includes thefts of property left unattended. Table 8.8 of Nature of Crime tables, 2011/12 - Children aged 10-15 shows that the most common items stolen in the 2011/12 CSEW were bicycles or bike parts, mobile phones, or cash.

Eight per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had experienced an incident of personal theft in the last year, with other theft of personal property most commonly experienced (5%). Theft from the person (for example, pick-pocketing) was much less common, with just 1% of children reporting being victimised. Just under 1% of children had experienced vandalism to personal property.

Table 24: CSEW property offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
    Number of incidents (thousands)  
Personal theft 353 280 419 355
  Theft from the person 59 34 51 44
  Snatch theft 21 19 25 16
  Stealth theft 38 15 26 28
  Other theft of personal property 203 165 253 234
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 .. .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 20 25 39 24
  Bike theft4 71 56 75 52
Vandalism to personal property4 48 27 39 42
  Damage to personal property4 48 27 39 42
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)4 .. .. .. ..
    Percentage who were victims once or more  
Personal theft 7.4 5.4 8.0 7.5
  Theft from the person 0.9 0.7 1.2 1.0
  Snatch theft 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.3
  Stealth theft 0.6 0.3 0.6 0.7
  Other theft of personal property 4.4 3.1 4.9 4.9
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 .. .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.6
  Bike theft4 1.6 1.2 1.5 1.3
Vandalism to personal property4 0.7 0.4 0.8 0.9
  Damage to personal property4 0.7 0.4 0.8 0.9
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)3 .. .. .. ..
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013
    Broad measure1
    Apr 2009 to Mar 2010 Apr 2010 to Mar 2011 Apr 2011 to Mar 2012 Jan 2011 to Dec 20122
    Number of incidents (thousands)  
Personal theft 426 334 487 395
  Theft from the person 61 37 53 51
  Snatch theft 22 22 25 16
  Stealth theft 38 15 28 35
  Other theft of personal property 250 190 320 268
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 21 19 .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 23 31 39 24
  Bike theft4 71 56 75 52
Vandalism to personal property4 137 85 47 43
  Damage to personal property4 59 27 47 43
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)4 78 57 .. ..
    Percentage who were victims once or more  
Personal theft 8.5 6.3 9.0 8.1
  Theft from the person 0.9 0.7 1.2 1.1
  Snatch theft 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.3
  Stealth theft 0.6 0.3 0.7 0.8
  Other theft of personal property 5.0 3.5 5.8 5.5
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 0.5 0.4 .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.6
  Bike theft4 1.6 1.2 1.5 1.3
Vandalism to personal property4 2.2 1.5 1.0 0.9
  Damage to personal property4 1.0 0.4 1.0 0.9
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)3 1.3 1.1 .. ..
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 3,013

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The ‘Preferred measure’ takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incidence (such as level of injury, value of item stolen or damaged, relationship with the perpetrator) while the ‘Broad measure’ counts all incidents which would be legally defined as crimes and therefore may include low-level incidents between children. For more details see Further Information Section.

  2. Base sizes for data year ending December 2012 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see Appendix 1 for more details).

  4. These offences are designated as 'household' offences for adults on the CSEW (respondents reply on behalf of the household) but are presented here as 'personal' offences when the property stolen or damaged solely belonged to the child respondent. This broadens the scope of personal victimisation but may also result in double-counting of offences on the adult survey; the extent to which this happens will be evaluated in the future.

  5. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2011/12 estimates.

  6. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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Notes for Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

  1. This refers to the proportion of incidents where the respondent was able to say something about the offender, which covered 98% of all violent incidents.

Anti-social behaviour

Incidents recorded by the police

Figures relating to anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be considered alongside police recorded (notifiable) crime to provide a more comprehensive view of the crime and disorder that comes to the attention of the police. Incidents of anti-social behaviour which result in a notifiable offence will be included in police recorded crime figures and as such the two sets of data are hierarchical rather than overlapping.

The police record anti-social behaviour incidents in accordance with the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR); for further details, see section 5.7 of the User Guide. While incidents are recorded under NSIR in accordance with the same ‘victim focused’ approach that applies for recorded crime, these figures are not accredited National Statistics and are not subject to the same level of quality assurance as the main recorded crime collection. In particular, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) reviews 1 found that there was greater variation in the recording of ASB incidents across police forces than in recording notifiable offences. It is also known that occasionally police forces may be duplicating some occurrences of a singular ASB incident where multiple reports by different callers have been made. Therefore the figures stated below are likely to be slight overestimates of all ASB incidents which should be recorded by the police.

Furthermore, data on ASB incidents from 2011/12 are not directly comparable with those in previous periods, owing to a change in the classification used for ASB incidents. Figures for the period 2007/08 to 2010/11 show declines in the number of ASB incidents recorded by the police consistent with recent trends in total police recorded crime.

The police recorded 2.3 million incidents of ASB in the year ending December 2012. This compares to the 3.7 million notifiable crimes recorded by the police over the same period (Figure 13).

Figure 13: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending December 2012

Figure 13: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending December 2012

Notes:

  1. ASB figures are not accredited National Statistics.
  2. ASB incidents exclude British Transport Police.
  3. ASB incident data from 2011/12 onwards are not directly comparable with those in previous periods, owing to a change in the classification used for ASB incidents.

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From 2011/12, a new set of three simplified categories for ASB was introduced (for further details, see Chapter 5 of the User Guide):

  • ‘Nuisance’ – captures incidents where an act, condition, thing or person causes trouble, annoyance, irritation, inconvenience, offence or suffering to the local community in general rather than to individual victims;

  • ‘Personal’ – captures incidents that are perceived as either deliberately targeted at an individual or group, or having an impact on an individual or group rather than the community at large; and

  • ‘Environmental’ – captures incidents where individuals and groups have an impact on their surroundings, including natural, built and social environments.

In the year ending December 2012, of the ASB incidents categorised by the police, 65% were identified as ‘Nuisance’; 29% as ‘Personal’; and 7% as ‘Environmental’ (Figure 14). This distribution may reflect propensity of reporting rather than the actual distribution of ASB by type.

Figure 14: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending December 2012 (non-National Statistics)

Figure 14: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending December 2012 (non-National Statistics)

Notes:

  1. ASB figures are not accredited National Statistics.
  2. ASB incidents include British Transport Police for April to December 2012 only.
  3. Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.

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CSEW measures of anti-social behaviour

The CSEW contains questions asking respondents about perceptions of problems with different types of ASB in their local area. Seven of these questions are used to provide an overall index of perceived ASB.

In the year ending December 2012 CSEW, 14% of adults perceived there to be a high level of ASB in their local area, no change from the previous year (Table 25). Compared with the previous year, the year to December 2012 CSEW showed decreases in the proportions of adults perceiving the following problems:

  • teenagers hanging around on the streets, (from 25% to 23%);

  • people being drunk or rowdy in public places (24 % to 22%);

  • vandalism and graffiti (21% to 20%); and

  • abandoned or burned-out cars (4.2% to 3.5%).

Since 2006/07 the CSEW has consistently estimated around a quarter of adults perceiving people being drunk or rowdy as a problem in the local area, although the latest data show a return to 2001/02 levels. The most pronounced decline has been for the abandoned or burnt-out cars strand, which peaked at 25% in 2002/03 and has subsequently fallen each year down to 4% in the year ending December 2012. The reduction in this indicator has been the main driver behind the overall reduction in the composite measure over time (Table 25).

Table 25: CSEW trends in the anti-social behaviour indicators, 1995 to year ending December 2012(1)

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 Jan 2012 to Dec 2012 Statistically significant change, Jan 2011 to Dec 2011 to Jan 2012 to Dec 2012
  Percentages  
High level of perceived anti-social behaviour2  :               19              18              14              14  
             
Rubbish or litter lying around              26              32              31              29              30  
People using or dealing drugs              21              31              28              27              26  
Teenagers hanging around on the streets              24              32              33              25              23 *
People being drunk or rowdy in public places2  :               22              26              24              22 *
Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property              24              34              28              21              20 *
Noisy neighbours or loud parties                 8              10              11              12              12  
Abandoned or burnt-out cars2  :               20             8.5             4.2             3.5 *
             
Unweighted base3, 4 7,625 30,695 45,063 27,963 11,498  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. For further years data see Annual trend and demographic table D35 of the Crime in England and Wales, Quarterly First Release to March 2012 release.

  2. The question on abandoned or burn-out cars was introduced in 2000 and the question on people being drunk or rowdy in public places was introduced in 2001.

  3. Unweighted bases refer to the question relating to people using or dealing drugs. Other bases will be similar.

  4. From April 2011 the number of respondents asked questions about their perceptions of problems in the local area was reduced (from a full sample to a half sample).

  5. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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New questions about respondents’ actual experiences of ASB in their local area were added to the 2011/12 CSEW. These questions ask whether the respondent had personally experienced or witnessed ASB in their local area and, if so, what types.

Twenty-nine per cent of adults in the year ending December 2012 CSEW indicated that they had personally experienced or witnessed at least one of the ASB problems asked about in their local area in the previous year (Table 26).

The two most common types of anti-social behaviour experienced or witnessed were drink-related behaviour and groups hanging around on the streets in their local area (10% each).

These figures might appear to suggest a disparity between perceptions of ASB and actual experience of such incidents, with around twice as many adults experiencing or witnessing ASB compared with those with a high level of perceived ASB in their local area. However, it is difficult to compare the two measures since the list of ASB categories used in the experience-based questions on ASB is more expansive than those asked of respondents in relation to their perceptions. In addition, they are measuring different things; actual experiences and perceptions. It is likely someone can experience an ASB incident without necessarily believing that it is part of a problem in their local area, if, for example, it was a one-off or isolated occurrence. The frequency or number of incidents experienced coupled with the type of incident(s) with regard to whether someone perceives them to be a problem will also vary from person to person.

Table 26: CSEW experiences of anti-social behaviour, year ending December 2012

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Percentages
Personally experienced/witnessed anti-social behaviour in local area 29
   
Types of anti-social behaviour experienced/witnessed1  
   
Drink related behaviour 10
Groups hanging around on the streets 10
Inconsiderate behaviour2 6
Loud music or other noise 5
Vandalism, criminal damage or graffiti 4
Litter, rubbish or dog-fouling 4
People being intimidated, verbally abused or harassed 4
People using or dealing drugs 3
Vehicle related behaviour3 3
Nuisance neighbours 3
Begging, vagrancy or homeless people 1
Out of control or dangerous dogs 1
People committing inappropriate or indecent sexual acts in public 0
   
Other anti-social behaviour 2
   
Unweighted base 36,602

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Respondents can experience more than one type of anti-social behaviour, so percentages will not sum to the total that experienced/witnessed anti-social behaviour in their local area.

  2. Includes repeated/inappropriate use of fireworks; youths kicking/throwing balls in inappropriate areas; cycling/skateboarding in pedestrian areas or obstructing pavements; people throwing stones/bottles/eggs, etc.

  3. Includes inconvenient/illegal parking; abandoned vehicles; speeding cars/motorcycles; car revving; joyriding, etc.

  4. Data collection method: Crime Survey for England and Wales

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In addition to the headline figures presented here, more detailed analysis on ASB as measured by the CSEW has been published in the 'Short Story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12' release.

 

Notes for Anti-social behaviour

  1. Further details on the recording of ASB incidents are also available in the HMIC report ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’.

Other non-notifiable crimes

The police recorded crime series is restricted to offences which are, or can be, tried at a Crown Court and a few additional closely related summary offences1. A range of non-notifiable offences may be dealt with by the police issuing an out of court disposal or by prosecution at a magistrates’ court. These can include offences that may have been identified by other agencies – for example, prosecutions by TV Licensing or by the DVLA for vehicle registration offences.

Data on these offences provide counts of offences where action has been brought against an offender and guilt has either been ascertained in court, or the offender has admitted culpability through acceptance of a penalty notice. These offences generally only come to light through the relevant authorities actively looking to identify offending behaviour. These figures help fill a gap in the coverage of the main CSEW and recorded crime statistics.

The most recent data available on non-notifiable crimes are for the year ending September 2012. Key findings include the following:

  • Cases brought to magistrates’ courts in the year ending September 20122 resulted in 1 million convicted non-notifiable offences, down 7% from the year ending September 2011 and continuing the downward trend since 2001/02 (Tables 27a and 27b); and

  • 42,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued for non-notifiable offences in the year ending September 2012 (Table 27a). Four in five of these were for being drunk and disorderly3.

Table 27a: Number of non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts/Penalty Notices for Disorder

England and Wales

  Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Oct 2010 to Sep 2011 Oct 2011 to Sep 2012
         
Non-notifiable convictions (thousands)3 1538 1466 1089 1017
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population) 1,2 29 27 20 18
         
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder (thousands) 4,5,6 n/a 62 46 42
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population) 1,2   1 1 1

Table source: Ministry of Justice

Table notes:

  1. The Year to September 2012 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2010 population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using the mid-year population estimate from the previous year.

  2. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential offenders.

  3. Figures for non-notifiable convictions apply to offenders aged 10 and over.

  4. Penalty Notices for Disorder, both higher and lower tier offences, issued to offenders aged 16 and over.

  5. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.

  6. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

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Table 27b: Percentage change in non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts/Penalty Notices for Disorder

England and Wales

  October 2011 to September 2012 compared with:
  Apr 2001 to Mar 2002 Apr 2006 to Mar 2007 Oct 2010 to Sep 2011
  percentage    
Non-notifiable convictions3 -34 -31 -7
Incidence rate 1,2 -37 -33 -7
       
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder 4,5,6   -32 -9
Incidence rate 1,2   -34 -9

Table source: Ministry of Justice

Table notes:

  1. The Year to September 2012 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2010 population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using the mid-year population estimate from the previous year.

  2. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential offenders.

  3. Figures for non-notifiable convictions apply to offenders aged 10 and over.

  4. Penalty Notices for Disorder, both higher and lower tier offences, issued to offenders aged 16 and over.

  5. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.

  6. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

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The police and, increasingly, local authorities have powers to issue penalty notices for a range of traffic offences and in 2011, the police issued 1.5 million Fixed Penalty Notices (just over half of which related to speeding)4.

 

Notes for Other non-notifiable crimes

  1. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (that is, offences which could be tried at a Crown Court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.

  2. The latest figures available from the MoJ relate to the year ending September 2012 and thus lag the CSEW and police recorded series by three months but are included to give a fuller picture. The MoJ will release figures for the year ending December 2012 in May 2013.

  3. Figures from Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to September 2012 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3).

  4. Source: Police Powers and Procedures 2011/12.

Commercial Victimisation Survey

Following a recommendation of the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011), a survey of crimes against businesses took place in England and Wales in 2012. The Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides information on the volume and type of crime committed against businesses in England and Wales across four sectors: Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, Transport and Storage, and Accommodation and Food. For more information, see the Home Office’s first report of the 2012 CVS. The survey is annual, not continuous, and the next round will take place in the autumn of 2013.

Headline figures for the number of crimes against businesses are included in this bulletin. Results from the 2012 CVS show that there were an estimated 9.2 million incidents of crimes against businesses in the 12 months prior to the survey, equating to 13 incidents of crime per business across the four sectors interviewed (Table 28). The majority of incidents were experienced by businesses in the retail and wholesale sector (84%), who on average each reported experiencing nearly 20 incidents of crime in the 12 months prior to being interviewed (Home Office, 2013). The vast majority of these incidents were theft related – for example shoplifting.

Table 28: Number of incidents of crime experienced by businesses in the 12 months before interview, 2012 CVS, by industry sector

England and Wales

  Manufacturing Retail and wholesale Transport and storage Accommodation and food All four sectors
ALL CVS CRIME number of incidents (thousands)                        164                     7,708                        324                        985                     9,181
ALL CVS CRIME rate per 1,000 premises                     1,500                   19,701                     5,824                     7,361                   13,305

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Data collection method: Commercial Victimisation Survey

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Data Sources - further information

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two different sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (previously known as the British Crime Survey), and police recorded crime. It also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture. This series of first releases focuses on the latest figures and longer-term trends. For detailed information about the statistical sources used here, refer to the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales (ONS, 2012)1.

Coverage of crime statistics

The CSEW and recorded crime provide generally good coverage of crime committed against the public, particularly for offences involving physical harm, loss or damage to property. Together they provide a more comprehensive picture than could be obtained from either series alone. However, neither the CSEW nor police recorded crime provide complete counts of crime and there are exclusions from both series. The coverage of police recorded crime statistics is defined by the Notifiable Offence List,2 which includes a broad range of offences, from murder to minor criminal damage, theft and public order offences. However, there are some offences, typically less serious ones, which are excluded from the recorded crime collection. These ‘non-notifiable’ crimes include many incidents that might generally considered to be ‘anti-social behaviour’ but that may also be crimes in law (including bye-laws) such as littering, begging and drunkenness. Other non-notifiable offences include driving under the influence of alcohol, parking offences and TV licence evasion. These have been separately reported on in this quarterly release.

The coverage of the main count of CSEW crime is a subset of those offences included in the police recorded crime collection, but reported volumes are higher as the survey is able to capture all offences experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to the police and recorded. This bulletin also incorporates results from the 10 to 15 year old section of the CSEW. The CSEW has necessary exclusions from its main count of crime (for example, homicide, crimes against businesses and other organisations and drug possession are not covered). The survey also excludes some other offences for which it may not be possible to collect robust estimates of crime levels (such as sexual offences).

The CSEW

The British Crime Survey is now known as the Crime Survey for England and Wales to better reflect its geographical coverage. While the survey did previously cover the whole of Great Britain it ceased to include Scotland in its sample in the late 1980s. There is a separate survey – the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey – covering Scotland. Given the transfer of responsibility for the survey to ONS, it was decided that the name change would take effect from 1 April 2012.

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.

Being a household survey the CSEW does not cover crime against businesses. Following a recommendation of the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011), a survey of commercial victimisation is now running to provide statistics on key sectors of the economy over the next three years. Headline figures from the full report, available from the Home Office website (full report), have been incorporated into this release.

The overall sample size for the CSEW is gradually being reduced from April 2012. The sample size will decrease from an achieved sample of 46,000 households per year in the year ending March 2012 to 35,000 households in the year ending March 2013. The sample size reduction took 12 months to implement and readers of the quarterly bulletin will see a gradual decrease in the un-weighted bases referenced in tables as data based on the old sample of 46,000 households reduces to the new sample size of 35,000 households.

The CSEW fieldwork was carried out by TNS-BMRB. In the year ending December 2012 the CSEW had a nationally representative sample of 36,625 adults and 3,013 children. The survey is weighted to adjust for possible non-response bias and to ensure the sample reflects the profile of the general population. Being based on a sample survey, CSEW estimates are subject to a margin of error. Unless stated otherwise, all changes in CSEW estimates described in the main text are statistically significant at the 95% level. For more information on statistical significance and confidence intervals for CSEW data, see Section 8 of the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales (ONS, 2012).

When interpreting results and making comparisons with police recorded crime it should be borne in mind that:

  • CSEW estimates cover the 12 months before each respondent’s interview, and therefore lag police recorded crime figures;

  • estimates from the CSEW are subject to a degree of variation as a result of sampling; and

  • low-volume offences can frequently show apparently large year-on-year changes.

Classifying crime among 10 to 15 year olds, CSEW

Millard and Flatley (2010) proposed four potential methods for measuring crime against children. Responses to the user consultation suggested there was some value in all approaches, but the majority favoured the ‘All in law’ and ‘Norms-based’ approaches with regard to estimating levels of victimisation; these two approaches are presented within this bulletin. Of the other two methods, there was least support during the consultation for the subjective approach which included only offences perceived to be a crime by the respondent (‘Victim perceived’) and some limited interest from users in the presentation of the ‘All in law outside school’ approach3.

The ‘All in law’ approach (now referred to as the ‘Broad measure’) is the widest-possible count of crime but will include minor offences between children and family members that would not normally be treated as criminal matters. The ‘Norms-based’ approach (now referred to as the ‘Preferred measure’) is a more focused method which takes into account factors identified as important in determining the severity of an incident but will still include incidents of a serious nature even if they took place at school.

The ‘Preferred measure’ includes all offences where:

  • the offender4 was not known (eg a stranger, tradesman, pupil from another school); or

  • the offender was known, but aged 16 or over and not a family member (eg neighbour, older friend, teacher);5 or

  • the offender was known and either a family member or aged under 16 (eg parent, sibling, school-friend) and there was visible injury or theft or damage involving a ‘high value’ item6; or

  • a weapon7 was involved.

In 2009/10 and 2010/11 detailed information about an incident was not collected if:

  • the incident happened at school; and

  • the offender8 was a pupil at the respondent’s school; and

  • the offender did not use a weapon;7 and

  • the victim was not physically hurt in any way.

This was to reduce respondent burden and to reflect that some incidents reported by children may be considered relatively minor. Incidents which met these criteria had a limited amount of information collected to enable classification to a high-level crime category and so it was not possible to assign specific offence codes within the appropriate high-level classification according to standard CSEW procedures. As a result, these cases have been designated as ‘unspecified’ offences. Without an offence code it is not possible to tell which detailed crime type the offence would be classified as. For example, data on whether the stolen item was being carried by the respondent at the time of a theft were not collected, so it is not feasible to determine whether this would be a theft from the person or other theft of personal property. However, because the respondent reported that there was intent to commit an offence, these incidents are still considered offences under law.

‘Unspecified’ offences do not fall within the scope of the ‘Preferred measure’ because the detailed information above was not collected.

In 2011/12 this was changed and full information was collected about all incidents of crime with a reduction in the number of incidents asked about to balance data collection needs with respondent burden. This means that the ‘unspecified’ categories are not shown in the table and the data are not directly comparable over the three time periods.

Police recorded crime

Police recorded crime is the primary source of sub-national crime statistics and for lower-volume crimes. It covers people (for example residents of institutions and tourists) and sectors (for example commercial crime) excluded from the CSEW sample and has a wider coverage of offences - for example covering homicide, sexual offences, and ‘crimes against the state’ (for example drug offences) not included in the main CSEW crime count. Police recorded crime also provides good measures of well-reported crimes but does not cover any crimes that are not reported to or discovered by the police. It should be noted that recorded crime can be influenced by changes in recording practices or police activity. As well as the main police recorded crime series, there are additional collections covering knife crime and firearm offences, which are too low in volume to be measured reliably by the CSEW.

Police recorded crime figures have been subject to a data reconciliation process with individual forces but remain provisional as forces can revise figures during the financial year.

The National Statistics police recorded crime figures in the reference tables alongside this bulletin which cover the financial year 2011/12 have been subject to a fuller reconciliation and quality assurance process by the Home Office Statistics Unit in liaison with individual police forces.

In 2012, HMIC carried out a review of police crime and incident reports in all forces in England and Wales. This review showed that while the majority of forces performed well, there was a wide variation in the quality of recording across forces. More details can be found in section 3.2 of the User Guide.

ONS have conducted further analysis comparing the two series which shows that trends in the police recorded crime series and the CSEW have drifted apart in recent years with the police series showing a faster rate of reduction. The findings, presented in the Analysis of Variation in Crime Trends methodological note, show that the ratio of police recorded offences to comparable reported CSEW crimes remained close to 90% in the early years of the NCRS (introduced in 2002/03), but fell from 2007/08, to around 70% in 2011/12 data. The potential reasons for this divergence are discussed in the report.

Strengths and limitations of the CSEW and police recorded crime

Crime Survey for England and Wales: Strengths

  • Large nationally representative sample survey which provides a good measure of long-term trends for the crime types and the population it covers (i.e. those resident in households).

  • Consistent methodology over time.

  • Covers crimes not reported to the police and is not affected by changes in police recording practice; is therefore a better measure of long term trends.

  • Coverage of survey extended in 2009 to include children aged 10-15 resident in households.

  • Independent collection of crime figures.

Crime Survey for England and Wales: Limitations

  • Survey is subject to error associated with sampling and respondents recalling past events.

  • Excludes crimes against businesses and those not resident in households (e.g. residents of institutions and visitors).

  • Headline estimates exclude offences that are difficult to estimate robustly (such as sexual offences) or that have no victim who can be interviewed (e.g. homicides, and drug offences).

Police recorded crime: Strengths

  • Has wider offence coverage and population coverage than the CSEW.

  • Good measure of offences that are well-reported to the police.

  • Is the primary source of local crime statistics and for lower-volume crimes (e.g. homicide).

  • Provides whole counts (rather than estimates that are subject to sampling variation).

  • Time lag between occurrence of crime and reporting results tends to be short, providing an indication of emerging trends.

Police recorded crime: Limitations

  • Excludes offences that are not reported to, or not recorded by, the police and does not include less serious offences dealt with by magistrates courts (e.g. motoring offences).

  • Trends can be influenced by changes in recording practices or police activity.

  • Not possible to make long-term comparisons due to fundamental changes in recording practice introduced in 1998 and 2002/039.

Fraud

In 2006 the Government commissioned a National Fraud Review to assess the impact and scale of fraudulent activity across the UK. This identified a need for co-ordinated recording, reporting and analysis of fraud data, and resulted in the formation of the National Fraud Authority (NFA), a National Lead Force for Fraud (City of London Police), Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

In June 2011 the National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics identified fraud as one of the more important gaps in crime statistics, and recommended reporting additional sources to provide a more complete picture.

Due to fraud being a deceptive crime, which is often difficult to locate and may be targeted at organisations or many individuals at once, it is difficult to measure and no one source is able to do so completely. Fraud data from a range of sources are presented in the quarterly bulletin to provide a more complete picture. These include: police recorded crime, the NFIB, the CSEW plastic card fraud module, and the UK Cards Association.

The changes resulting from the introduction of the Fraud Act 2006 mean that police recorded fraud and forgery figures from 2007/08 onwards are not comparable with previous years. Responsibility for recording selected fraud offences moved, by 1 April 2013, from individual police forces to Action Fraud, a national reporting centre that records incidents of fraud directly from the public and organisations. It was created to provide support and fraud prevention advice to victims and to enable a co-ordinated approach to analysing and tackling fraud. Police recorded fraud figures should be taken in context of the known under-reporting of fraud offences to the police and the continuing decline as recording transfers to Action Fraud.

NFIB data are not accredited National Statistics and are subject to ongoing development before they should be seen as providing an authoritative measure of fraud. The NFIB collates and analyses data from three sources: Action Fraud, CIFAS (a UK-wide fraud prevention service) and the UK Cards Association (the trade association for the card payments industry in the UK). They will be sourcing data from additional financial and fraud prevention institutions in the future. As responsibility for recording selected fraud offences moves from the police to Action Fraud and data are sourced from additional industry sources, the volume of offences the NFIB reports will increase. It is not possible to separate the dataset into England and Wales only as some sources of NFIB data are UK-wide.  

The CSEW provides a good indication of the proportion of plastic card owners that are victims of plastic card fraud each year. However, this is just one type of fraudulent crime and is not an indication of the extent of fraud in general.

Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour incidents are recorded by the police in accordance with the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR).

A recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC, 2012b) raised some concerns over the recording of anti-social behaviour incidents: some incidents recorded by the police as anti-social behaviour should have instead been recorded as crimes; and there was poor identification of repeat, vulnerable and intimidated victims of anti-social behaviour at the first point of contact. More details can be found in section 5.7 of the User Guide.

While incidents are recorded under NSIR in accordance with the same ‘victim focused’ approach that applies for recorded crime, these figures are not accredited National Statistics and are not subject to the same level of quality assurance as the main recorded crime collection. It is known that occasionally police forces may be duplicating some occurrences of a singular ASB incident where multiple reports by different callers have been made.

Additionally, the variation in the type of anti-social behaviour incident recorded into the three new strands of ‘Personal’, ‘Nuisance’ and ‘Environmental’ (from 2011/12 onwards) across police forces suggests that there are some discrepancies in how police forces are categorising incidents.

Figures should be interpreted as incidents recorded by the police. These figures do, however, provide an incomplete count of the extent of reported anti-social behaviour as incidents are also reported to other agencies, such as local authorities or social landlords (for example problems with nuisance neighbours). Such reports will not generally be included in these police figures.

Commercial Victimisation Survey

The Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides information on the volume and type of crime committed against businesses in England and Wales by sector. This was launched following a recommendation of the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011). The CVS is a telephone victimisation survey in which businesses in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a range of crimes in the 12 months prior to interview. A total of 4,017 businesses from the manufacturing, retail and wholesale, transport and storage and accommodation and food sectors were interviewed in the 2012 CVS (approximately 1,000 from each sector). The survey uses similar methodology and questions to two previous surveys carried out in 1994 and 2002 allowing some comparisons to be made, notably for the retail sector. More information on the methodology of the survey and the first 2012 CVS report are available from the Home Office’s website.





Notes for Data Sources - further information

  1. This User Guide is the standard source of information on both police recorded crime figures and the CSEW.

  2. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (that is, offences which could be tried at a crown court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.

  3. While only two measures are being presented, data are still collected to enable the other measures to be derived; these will be made publicly available through the UK Data Service.

  4. If there was more than one offender, the incident was included if just one of the offenders matched this criteria.

  5. The inclusion of offences committed by a known non-family member irrespective of the nature of the offence represents a change to the approach used for the ‘Norms-based’ measure that was previously published in 2010 (Millard and Flatley). This recognises the importance of age in addition to relationship in classifying the severity of an incident.

  6. This excludes items such as pens, stationery, food, toys, cards, cigarettes.

  7. A ‘weapon’ constitutes any item that was considered to be a weapon by the victim; this includes knives, sticks, stones, bottles.

  8. Where there was more than one offender, detailed information was collected if any of the offenders were not pupils at the respondent’s school.

  9. See section 3.2 of the User Guide.

Future plans and changes to statistical reporting

Recent changes

In January 2011 The Home Secretary announced a review of crime statistics to be carried out by the National Statistician which resulted in the publication of the review in June 2011.

One of the eight recommendations was that responsibility for the publication of the crime statistics should move to an independent body (ONS). It was also recommended that ONS assume responsibility for the management of the British Crime Survey (since re-titled as the Crime Survey for England and Wales). The transfer of responsibilities to ONS took effect from 1 April 2012.

The Government accepted the recommendations of the National Statistician in a Written Ministerial Statement.

This release represents the eighth such publication from ONS. To provide continuity for users of these statistics, the same information previously produced by the Home Office is provided with this release, although in a slightly different format - see below.

Changes to publication of first release

Following the move of the processing and publication of crime statistics to ONS from the Home Office the standard quarterly releases have been extended to include more long-term trends and other data sources. This is the case for all quarterly releases from July 2012 onwards. The new quarterly publications remove the need for a large annual publication as much of what has previously been published on an annual basis is included in the new style quarterly publications. However, not everything will be covered in the detailed commentary for the quarterly release, so the April to March quarterly release includes tables previously published annually and not presented in the new quarterly releases. These were last published on 19 July 2012 – Annual trend and demographic tables.

Future presentation of crime classifications

ONS will continue to develop the quarterly publications and has proposals to develop a different way of presenting the crime classifications used in the standard quarterly release. These were shared with users through a range of user engagement activities and formal consultation to seek users’ views. A ‘Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses’ document was published in January 2013, to show how changes will be implemented. With regard to police recorded crime, these new classifications will be presented in the next release of crime statistics for the year ending March 2013 on 18 July 2013. The CSEW changes will be implemented together with a revision of survey weights following the move to new 2011 Census-based population estimates (see below).

Changes resulting from new 2011 Census population estimates

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two key sources: the CSEW and police recorded crime. Both employ official population estimates in their construction and currently utilise 2010 based population projections. Following the 2011 Census, ONS are anticipating publishing revised population estimates from mid-2002 to mid-2010 on the 30th April 2013. A programme of work has been initiated to bring CSEW and police recorded crime figures in line with new population estimates including any back series necessary for time series analysis.

Crime rates derived from police recorded crime figures for the year to March 2013 will be re-based in line with new population figures and published in July 2013. The production and dissemination of CSEW revised estimates (and micro data with adjusted weights) will take longer to implement as these are based on complex weighting methodologies and unlike police recorded crime the total number of incidents, the prevalence, and the rate per 1,000 population will all be affected. The first set of CSEW estimates to be published using revised population totals will be the quarterly update for the survey year to September 2013 and published in January 2014. Micro datasets for the entire affected back-series will be published shortly after.

Note should be taken that quarterly updates in July and October 2013 for police recorded crime will be on the 2011 Census based populations, whilst CSEW estimates will remain on 2010 projections. This was considered preferential to delaying the publication of police recorded crime figures based on the 2011 Census population until the CSEW data were available.

The difference between the two populations is small (464,000 or 0.83%) in the context of the total population for England and Wales, and comparability between the two series only marginally affected.

List of products

Release tables published alongside this commentary include a set of bulletin tables (677.5 Kb Excel sheet) containing the data tables and numbers appearing behind graphs in this publication, and more detailed estimates and counts of crime levels as set out below.

Type of information: Time series
CSEW crime estimates: File 2 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) (‘appendix tables’), Tables A1 – A3
Police recorded crime: File 2 (757.5 Kb Excel sheet) (‘appendix tables’), Table A4; Files 5 to 7 – local area time series

Type of information: Local area statistics
CSEW crime estimates: File 4 (166 Kb Excel sheet) , Table P4q – perceptions of local police
Police recorded crime: Files 4 to 7

Type of information: Quarterly figures
CSEW crime estimates: File 3 (218.5 Kb Excel sheet) (“quarterly data”)
Police recorded crime: File 3 (218.5 Kb Excel sheet) (“quarterly data”)

Type of information: Perceptions of crime
CSEW crime estimates: File 8 (64.5 Kb Excel sheet) (“perceptions”); File 4 (166 Kb Excel sheet) , Table P4q – perceptions of local police; File 9c (663.4 Kb ZIP) and  9d (714.3 Kb ZIP) (“open data tables”)

Type of information: Detailed demographic data
CSEW crime estimates: Files 9a to 9f (“open data tables”)

The following are URL links associated with the production of Crime Statistics.

  1. Crime statistics publications on the Home Office website

  2. Historic police recorded crime

  3. Previous quarterly publication

  4. User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales

  5. The 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales Technical Report Volume 1

  6. Analysis of Variation in Crime Trends (methodological note).

  7. ‘Nature of Crime Tables 2011/12’. Published 7 February 2013

  8. ‘Focus on Public Perceptions of Policing 2011/12’. Published 29 November 2012

  9. ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12’. Published 7 February 2013

  10. ‘Hate crime, cyber security and the experience of crime among children: Findings from the 2010/11 British Crime Survey’ Supplementary Volume 3 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 06/12. Published 29 March 2012

  11. National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics

Anonymised datasets from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (in SPSS format) currently are available on:

In addition to these National Statistics releases, provisional police recorded crime data drawn from local management information systems sit behind, street level figures released each month, via:

Police recorded crime, street level mapping tool

References

Chaplin, R., Flatley, J. and Smith, K. (Eds), 2011, ‘Crime in England and Wales 2010/11’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/11.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2013 ‘Mistakes were made: HMIC’s review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012’.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2012a, ‘The crime scene: A review of police crime and incident reports’.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2012b, ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’.

Home Office, 2013a, Police Powers and Procedures England and Wales 2011/12, Home Office Statistical Bulletin.        

Home Office, 2013b, ‘Crime against businesses: Headline findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin.

Home Office, 2012b, ‘Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (2nd Edition)’.

Millard and Flatley, eds. 2010, ‘Experimental statistics on victimisation of children aged 10 to 15: Findings from the British Crime Survey for the year ending December 2009 England and Wales’, Home Office statistical bulletin 11/10.

MoJ, ONS, Home Office, 2013, ‘An overview of sexual offending in England and Wales’.

National Statistician, 2011, ‘National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics: England and Wales’.

Office for National Statistics, 2013a, ‘User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales’.

Office for National Statistics, 2013b ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime Trends: A study of trends in ‘comparable crime’ categories between the Crime Survey for England and Wales and the police recorded crime series between 1981 and 2011/12’.

Office for National Statistics, 2013b ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12’.

Office for National Statistics, 2012a ‘Trends in Crime: a Short Story, 2011/12’.

Office for National Statistics, 2012b ‘Focus on Public Perceptions of Policing, Findings from the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales’.

Sivarajasingam, V., Wells, J.P., Moore, S., Morgan, P. and Shepherd, J.P., 2012, ‘Violence in England and Wales 2011. An accident and Emergency Perspective’ Cardiff: Cardiff University.

Smith, K., Osborne, S., Lau, I., Britton, A., 2012, ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2010/11’ Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 02/12.

Background notes

  1. The Crime in England and Wales quarterly releases are produced in partnership with the Home Office who collate and quality assure the police recorded crime data presented in the bulletins. Home Office colleagues also quality assurance the overall content of the bulletin.

  2. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

  3. © Crown copyright 2012.

    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, go to: The National Archives or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU Email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  4. Next quarterly publication: July 2013.

    Future thematic reports due to be published:

    Focus on Property Crime: Findings from the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales and Police Recorded Crime: 9 May 2013

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  5. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    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:

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    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Statistical contacts

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John Flatley +44 (0)207592 8695 ONS crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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