Skip to content

Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending December 2013

Released: 24 April 2014

Key Points

  • In accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales continue to be badged as National Statistics.
  • Alongside this release, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published a response to the UK Statistics Authority’s assessment of crime statistics, including progress on implementing the requirements set out by the Authority.
  • Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate there were 7.5 million crimes against households and resident adults in the previous twelve months, based on interviews with a nationally representative sample in the year ending December 2013. This was down 15% compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.
  • The reduction of crime measured by the CSEW was driven by decreases in a range of offence groups, including: other household theft (down 25%); violence (down 22%); and vandalism (down 15%).
  • The CSEW also estimated there were 762,000 crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 resident in the household population in the year ending December 2013. This was down 13% compared with the year ending December 2012 (877,000), although this was not a statistically significant decrease.
  • The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending December 2013, a decrease of 2% compared with the previous year.
  • There were decreases across most of the main categories of police recorded crime. However, there are signs of increasing upward pressures in some offence types in the police recorded crime data; for example, shoplifting continued to increase (by 6% in the year ending December 2013). Continuing falls in high volume crimes such as other types of theft offences and criminal damage mean that overall levels of crime have also fallen.
  • There was also a 1% increase in violence against the person offences recorded by the police but this is thought to reflect improvements in recording and possibly a rise in public reporting.
  • The number of sexual offences recorded by the police increased by 17%. This continues the pattern seen in recent quarterly releases and comes in the wake of the publicity surrounding the Savile case and allegations against other celebrities which are thought to have led to a greater number of victims coming forward to report sexual offences to the police.
  • In the year ending December 2013, 207,252 fraud offences were recorded by the police and Action Fraud based on reports from members of the public. This represents a volume increase of 25% compared with the previous year. This rise should be seen in the context of a move towards improved recording of fraud following a move to centralised recording by the police. In addition, there were 309,880 reports of fraud to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau from industry bodies.

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. It also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture of crime and disorder, including incidents of anti-social behaviour recorded by the police and other transgressions of the law that are dealt with by the courts but are not covered in the recorded crime collection.

There is significant interest in crime statistics and a diverse range of users. These include elected national and local representatives (such as MPs, Police and Crime Commissioners and local councillors), police forces, those delivering support or services to victims of crime, lobby groups, journalists, academic researchers, teachers and students.

These statistics are used by central and local government and the police service for planning and monitoring service delivery and for resource allocation. The statistics are also used to inform public debate about crime and the public policy response to it. Further information about the uses of crime statistics is available in the Crime Statistics Quality and Methodology Information report.

Following an assessment of ONS crime statistics by the UK Statistics Authority, the statistics based on police recorded crime data have been found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics1. Data from the CSEW continue to be badged as National Statistics.

Coverage and coherence – CSEW

The CSEW and police 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 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. Respondents are interviewed in their own homes by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire that is administered on a laptop computer using specialist survey software. The questions asked do not use technical terms or legal definitions but are phrased in plain English language. The information collected during the interview is then reviewed later by a team of specialist coders employed by the survey contractors (currently TNS-BMRB) who determine whether or not what was reported amounts to a crime in law and, if so, what offence has been experienced. This ‘offence coding’ aims to reflect the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime which govern how the police record offences reported to them.

Since it began, the CSEW has been conducted by an independent (from government or the police) survey research organisation using trained interviewers to collect data from sampled respondents. The interviewers have no vested interest in the results of the survey. For the crime types and population groups it covers, the CSEW has a consistent methodology and is unaffected by changes in levels of public reporting to the police, recording practice or police activity. As such, the survey is widely seen to operate as an independent reality-check of the police figures. The independence of the survey has been further strengthened by the transfer of responsibility from the Home Office to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in April 2012.

The CSEW has a higher number of reported volumes than police recorded crime as the survey is able to capture all offences by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to the police and then recorded. However, it does cover a narrower range of offences than the recorded crime collection.

The CSEW has necessary exclusions from its main count of crime (for example, homicide, crimes against businesses and other organisations, and drug possession). The survey also excludes sexual offences from its main crime count given the sensitivities around reporting this in the context of a face-to-face interview. However, at the end of the main interview there is a self-completion element (also via a computer) where adults aged 16 to 59 are asked about their experience of domestic and sexual violence and these results are reported separately.

Since the survey started in 1982 (covering crime experienced in 1981) a core module of victimisation questions has asked about a range of offences experienced either by the household (such as burglary) or by the individual respondent (such as robbery). The offences covered by this core module have remained unchanged since the survey started.

The offence of fraud, whether committed in traditional or newer ways (such as over the internet), is not part of this core module. Other offences which are committed via cyberspace (such as harassment) are also not covered by the existing questions. However, supplementary modules of questions have been included in the survey from time to time in an attempt to better understand the nature of these newer types of crime. In addition, methodological work is ongoing to explore the feasibility of adding questions to the core module to cover newer types of crime.

The survey is based on a sample of the population, and therefore estimates have a margin of quantifiable (and non quantifiable) error associated with them. The latter includes: when respondents have recalled crimes in the reference period that actually occurred outside that period (‘telescoping’); and crimes that did occur in the reference period that were not mentioned at all (either because respondents failed to recall a fairly trivial incident or, conversely, because they did not want to disclose an incident, such as a domestic assault). Some may have said they reported a crime to the police when they did not (a 'socially desirable' response); and, some incidents reported during the interview could be miscoded (‘interviewer/coder error’).

In 2009 the CSEW was extended to cover children aged 10 to 15, and this release also incorporates results from this element of the survey. However, due to the long time series for which comparable data are available, the main analysis and commentary is restricted to adults and households.

The CSEW has a nationally representative sample of around 35,000 adults and 3,500 children (aged 10 to 15 years) per year. The response rates for the survey in 2012/13 were 73% and 67% respectively. The survey is weighted to adjust for possible non-response bias and to ensure the sample reflects the profile of the general population. For more details of the methodology see the CSEW technical report.

Coverage and coherence – Police recorded crime and other sources of crime statistics

Police recorded crime figures are supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police, via the Home Office to ONS. The coverage of police recorded crime statistics is defined by the Notifiable Offence List2, which includes a broad range of offences, from murder to minor criminal damage, theft and public order offences. However, there are some, mainly less serious offences, that are excluded from the recorded crime collection. These ‘non-notifiable’ crimes include many incidents that might generally be considered to be anti-social behaviour but that may also be crimes in law (including by-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 offences are not covered in either the main two series and are separately reported on in this release to provide additional context.

Police recorded crime is the primary source of sub-national crime statistics and for lower-volume crimes. It covers people (including, for example, residents of institutions and tourists as well as the resident population) and sectors (for example commercial crime) excluded from the CSEW sample. Recorded crime has a wider coverage of offences, for example covering homicide, sexual offences, and crimes without a specific, identifiable victim (referred to as ‘Other crimes against society’) 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 is also affected by changes in reporting and recording practices. Like any administrative data, police recorded crime will be affected by the rules governing the recording of data, by the systems in place, and by operational decisions in respect of the allocation of resources.

As well as the main police recorded crime series, there are additional collections providing detail on offences involving the use of knives and firearms, which are too low in volume to be measured reliably by the CSEW.

This quarterly statistical bulletin also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture. These include incidents of anti-social behaviour recorded by the police (which fall outside the coverage of notifiable offences), non-notifiable crimes dealt with by the courts (again outside the coverage of recorded crime or the CSEW), crime reports from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the results of the 2012 and 2013 Commercial Victimisation Surveys (a nationally representative sample of business premises in six industrial sectors). More details of these sources can be found in the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales. Information on UK and international comparisons can be found in the ‘International and UK comparisons’ section.

Notes for Introduction

1.  The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.

2. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (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.

Summary

Overall level of crime – Latest figures from the CSEW and police recorded crime

Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) show there were an estimated 7.5 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending December 2013 (Table 1). This represents a 15% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to be 25% lower than the 2007/08 survey, and is 60% lower than its peak level in 19951 (Figure 1).

The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending December 2013, a decrease of 2% compared with the previous year (Table 2)2. Police recorded crime figures continue to show year-on-year reductions; the latest figures are 38% lower than in 2002/03, when the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced. The rate of reduction, however, has slowed.

Expanded coverage of offences in the recorded crime collection, following changes to the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) in 1998, and the introduction of the NCRS in April 2002, saw increases in the number of crimes recorded by the police while the CSEW count fell. Following the bedding in of these changes, trends from the two series tracked each other well from 2002/03 until 2007/08. While both series continued to show a downward trend between 2007/08 and 2012/13 the gap between the two series widened with the police recorded crime series showing a faster rate of reduction (32% for police recorded crime compared with 19% for the CSEW)3. However, more recently, this pattern has changed with the recorded crime series showing smaller reductions than the survey.

The latest figures (year ending December 2013) indicate overall CSEW crime has fallen by 15% compared with the previous year, whereas total police recorded crime has fallen by 2%.

One possible factor behind the difference between the two sources in the size of the decreases is the recent renewed focus on the quality of crime recording by the police in the light of the ongoing inspections of forces by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry into crime statistics, and the UK Statistics Authority’s decision to remove the National Statistics designation from recorded crime. Additional possible factors can be found in the ‘Overall level of crime’ section of this release.

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 1: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Sources: Crime Survey for England and Wales - Office for National Statistics, Police recorded crime - Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. 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).

The CSEW additionally estimated 762,000 crimes were experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending December 2013. Of this number, 57% were categorised as violent crimes4 (435,000), while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (273,000; 36%). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (54,000; 7% of all crimes). The proportions of violent, personal property theft and vandalism crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 are similar to the previous year (55%, 40% and 5% respectively).

Victim-based crime accounted for 84% of all police recorded crime, and fell by 3% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. Within victim-based crime, there were decreases across most of the police recorded crime categories. The exceptions to this were violence against the person (up 1%), shoplifting (up 6%) and sexual offences (up 17%).

Other crimes against society (that is, offences where there is no specific identifiable victim, such as drug offences and possession of weapon offences) accounted for 11% of police recorded crime and showed a decrease of 4% with the previous year, with 397,100 offences recorded.

The remaining 6% of recorded crimes were fraud offences. There were 207,252 fraud offences recorded by both the police and Action Fraud in the year ending December 2013 (an increase of 25% on the previous year). However, the numbers should be interpreted with caution. It is unclear the extent to which this reflects a genuine increase in such crimes or whether the move to the centralised recording of such offences has led to improved counting of fraud offences; see the ‘Total fraud offences recorded by the police (including via Action Fraud)’ section for further details.

In addition, fraud data are also collected from industry bodies by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). In the year to December 2013, there were 309,880 reports of fraud to the NFIB from industry bodies, the vast majority of which were related to banking and credit industry fraud. It is possible that there may be some double counting between these two data sources; see the ‘Fraud’ section for further details.

Overall level of crime – Other sources of crime statistics

Around 2.2 million incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) were recorded by the police for the year ending December 20135. Excluding incidents recorded by the British Transport Police, the number of ASB incidents in the year ending December 2013 decreased by 7% compared with the previous year6. However, it should be noted that a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB. As a result, ASB incident data should be interpreted with caution.

In the year ending September 2013 (the latest period for which data are available) there were around 1.0 million convictions in magistrates courts for non-notifiable offences which are not covered in the recorded crime collection (for example: being drunk and disorderly; speeding) and 35,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued in relation to non-notifiable offences7.

The CSEW does not cover crimes against businesses and police recorded crime can only provide a partial picture (those offences which are reported to them). Combined figures from the 2012 and 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey estimated that there were 7.3 million incidents of crime against businesses in England and Wales in the six sectors covered by the two surveys: (‘manufacturing’ and ‘transportation and storage’ in 2012; ‘wholesale and retail’, ‘accommodation and food’, ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ and ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ in 2013). This equates to approximately 10 incidents of crime per business premises in the previous 12 months.

Trends in victim-based crime – CSEW

The CSEW provides coverage of most victim-based crimes, although there are necessary exclusions from its main estimates, such as homicide and sexual offences. For more information on what is and is not included, see the ‘Coverage and coherence’ section in the ‘Introduction’.

Levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed a decrease of 22% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. This follows on from large falls seen in the CSEW between 1995 and 2004/05, with current estimates at less than half the level seen at the highest level reported in 1995.

Overall household crime8 measured by the survey in the year ending December 2013 showed a decrease of 16% compared with the previous year; a result of decreases in other household theft, bicycle theft, vandalism and vehicle-related theft. Estimates for other household theft, vandalism, vehicle-related theft and burglary are at their lowest levels since the survey began in 1981.

There was a 25% decrease in CSEW other household theft in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. It is still too early to say whether this represents a change from the upward trends seen in recent years. Peak levels of other household theft were recorded in the mid-1990s and the latest estimate is half the level seen in the 1995 survey.

Bicycle theft in the CSEW decreased by 22% in the year ending December 2013 compared to the previous year. The number of bicycle theft incidents is now at its lowest level since 2003/04.

Vandalism in the CSEW decreased by 15% in the year ending December 2013 compared to the previous year, continuing the downward trend seen since 2008/09.

Trends in victim-based crime – Police recorded crime

Figure 2 shows selected police recorded crime offences focusing on those with notable changes in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year.

Figure 2: Selected victim-based police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending December 2012 and year ending December 2013

Figure 2: Selected victim-based police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending December 2012 and year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

There was a 3% decrease in victim-based crimes in the year ending December 2013 as a result of decreases in all major offence categories, with the exception of violence against the person (up 1%), shoplifting (up 6%) and sexual offences (up 17%). Robbery, total theft offences, and criminal damage and arson all decreased, driving the fall in overall police recorded crime.

Violence against the person offences recorded by the police showed a 1% increase compared with the previous year. This is thought to reflect improvements in recording and possibly a rise in public reporting. The volume of crimes equates to approximately 11 offences recorded per 1,000 population in the year ending December 2013. The increase in all violence against the person offences was driven by the sub category violence without injury, which showed an increase of 3% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. The violence with injury sub category showed no change over the same period.

In the year ending December 2013 the police recorded 551 homicides, 9 fewer than in the previous year9. 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, which was at a faster rate than population growth over that period10. Over the past decade however, the volume of homicides has decreased while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow.

Offences involving firearms have fallen 6% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year, continuing the falls seen since their peak in 2005/06. The number of offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument decreased by 4% over the same period11.

Robberies fell 12% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year, from 67,447 offences to 59,427 offences. This is equivalent to around 1 offence recorded per 1,000 population and is the lowest level since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03. 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 robbery offences since 2002/03. The overall decrease has been driven by falls in most of the large metropolitan force areas, where robbery offences tend to be concentrated (more than half of all robbery offences were recorded in London alone). Two of the more notable drops in volume-terms were in the Metropolitan Police (down 17%) and West Midlands police force areas (down 6%).

Sexual offences recorded by the police increased by 17% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year, to a total of 60,894 across England and Wales. Within this, the number of offences of rape increased by 20% and the number of other sexual offences increased by 15%.

There is evidence to suggest that these increases are partly a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation, connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry. While some of these increases will be a direct consequence of the crimes reported as part of Operation Yewtree, there is evidence to suggest that there has been a wider “Yewtree effect” whereby there is increased willingness on the part of the victims to come forward and report historical sexual offences12. However, there is also evidence that there has been an increase in the number of sexual offences recorded by the police that had taken place in the same 12 month period as the offence was recorded. For more information, see the ‘Sexual offences’ section.

Total theft offences recorded by the police in the year ending December 2013 showed a 4% decrease compared with the previous year, continuing the year-on-year decrease seen since 2002/03. The majority of the categories in this offence group (burglary, vehicle offences, theft from the person, bicycle theft and all other theft offences) showed decreases compared with the previous year. The one exception to this was shoplifting, which increased by 6% compared with the previous year (from 299,515 offences to 317,027).

Theft from the person offences recorded by the police in the year ending December 2013 showed a 2% decrease compared with the previous year. This is a reversal of recent trends, which showed year-on-year increases in each of the last two years.

Fraud offences

Responsibility for recording fraud offences has transferred from individual police forces to Action Fraud. This transfer occurred between April 2011 and March 2013. As a result, fraud data presented in this publication now include offences recorded by Action Fraud.

In the year ending December 2013, 207,252 fraud offences were recorded by either the police or Action Fraud in England and Wales. This represents a volume increase of 25% compared with the previous year and an increase of 191% compared with 2007/08. These reported increases over the past 12 months should be seen in the context of the recent move to centralised recording of fraud. As a result, caution should be applied when comparing the latest fraud data with earlier years. In addition, there were 309,880 reports of fraud to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau from industry bodies. For more information, see the ‘Fraud’ section.

Notes for Summary

  1. See ‘Trends in Crime – A short story 2011/12
  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. See the ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime trends’ methodological note and Section 4.2 of the User Guide for more details.
  4. The children aged 10 to 15 survey only covers personal level crime (so excludes household level crime); the majority (over 70%) of violent crimes experienced in the year ending December 2013 resulted in minor or no injury, so in most cases the violence is low level.
  5. ASB incidents recorded by the police are not accredited as National Statistics.
  6. 2012/13 was the first year data from the British Transport Police (BTP) were available. In order to compare with previous years, incidents recorded by the BTP are excluded.
  7. 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 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for vehicle registration offences.
  8. CSEW household crime includes burglary and other household theft, vandalism, vehicle-related theft and bicycle theft.
  9. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide. Figures from the Homicide Index for the time period April 2012 to March 2013, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes, were published in the ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’ release on 13 February 2014.
  10. Figures from the Homicide Index 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.
  11. Only selected violent offences can be broken down by whether a knife or sharp instrument was used. These are: homicide; attempted murder; threats to kill; actual and grievous bodily harm; robbery; rape; and sexual assault.
  12. See HMIC’s 2013 report ‘Mistakes were made’.

Time periods covered

The latest CSEW figures presented in this release are based on interviews conducted between January and December 2013, 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 2013 reporting on crimes experienced between January and December 2012 and those interviewed in December 2013 reporting on crimes taking place between December 2012 and November 2013. For that reason, the CSEW tends to lag short-term trends.

Recorded crime figures relate to crimes recorded by the police during the year ending December 2013 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 4 March 2014.

Nine months of the data reported here overlap with the data contained in the previous bulletin and as a result the estimates in successive bulletins are not from independent samples. Therefore, year on year comparisons are made with the previous year; that is, the 12 months period ending December 2012 (rather than those published last quarter). To put the latest dataset in context, data are also shown for the year ending March 2008 (approximately five years ago) and the year ending March 2003 (approximately ten years ago). Additionally, for the CSEW estimates, data for the year ending December 1995, which was when crime peaked in the CSEW (when the survey was conducted on a calendar year basis), are also included. 

Accuracy of the statistics

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 5% level. Since the CSEW estimates are based upon a sample survey, it is good practice to publish confidence intervals alongside them; these provide a measure of the reliability of the estimates. Details of where these are published, including further information on statistical significance can be found in Chapter 8 of the User Guide.

Police recording practice is governed by the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) and the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). The HOCR have existed in one form or another since the 1920s. However, in 1998 there were substantial changes which expanded the coverage of notifiable offences to include certain additional summary offences and counts became more victim-based (the number of victims was counted rather than the number of offences).

The NCRS was introduced in April 2002 following a critical report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2000 (Povey, 2000) which showed there was a problem with differing interpretation of the HOCR that resulted in inconsistent recording practices across forces.

The Audit Commission carried out regular independent audits of police data quality between 2003/04 and 2006/07. In their final assessment published in September 2007 (Audit Commission, 2007) they commented that “The police have continued to make significant improvements in crime recording performance and now have better quality crime data than ever before”.

However, both the UK Statistics Authority (2010) and the National Statistician (2011) have highlighted concerns about the absence of such periodic audits. A HMIC quality review in 2009 into the way in which police forces record most serious violence (which at the time was part of a central Government target) found some variation in recording which they partly attributed to the lack of independent monitoring of crime records. In line with a recommendation by the National Statistician, HMIC carried out a review of police crime and incident reports in all forces in England and Wales during 2011 (HMIC, 2012) and they are currently undertaking a national inspection of Crime Data Integrity which will report later in 2014.

Analysis published by the ONS in January 2013 used a ‘comparable’ sub-set of offences covered by both the CSEW and police recorded crime in order to compare the relationship between the two series. This analysis showed that between 2002/03 and 2006/07 the reduction in the volume of crime measured by the two series was similar, but between 2006/07 and 2011/12 the gap between the two series widened with the police recorded crime series showing a faster rate of reduction.  One possible explanation for this is a gradual erosion of compliance with the NCRS, such that a growing number of crimes reported to the police are not being captured in crime recording systems. For more details see the ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime trends’ methodological note.

Additionally, as part of an ongoing inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) into crime statistics, allegations of under-recording of crime by the police have been made. This inquiry also heard evidence from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Kent in which she referred to improvements in crime recording following an HMIC inspection in Kent that reported in February 2013 (HMIC, 2013). HMIC concluded that in Kent the decision to record a crime was made correctly approximately 90% of the time. In her evidence to the PASC inquiry the Kent PCC reported that subsequent internal audits have indicated compliance with the NCRS has increased to over 95%. This is consistent with the force level breakdown of police recorded crime data which shows a marked increase (up 8%) in the number of crimes recorded in Kent in the last year. Action taken in Kent to improve compliance with the NCRS is likely to have been an important factor in driving this increase1.

ONS are not currently in a position to quantify the level of compliance with the NCRS in other police forces. In the same PASC inquiry the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, outlined how HMIC would be undertaking an inspection of the integrity of police recorded crime during 2014. The findings of this inspection will help provide further information on crime recording compliance across England and Wales. This programme of inspections is currently underway and an interim report on progress and emerging findings based on the first eight forces inspected is due for publication on 29 April 2014; the final inspection report will then be published in autumn 2014.

The recorded crime figures are a by-product of a live administrative system which is continually being updated as incidents are logged as crimes and subsequently investigated. Some incidents initially recorded as crime may on further investigation be found not to be a crime (described as being ‘no crimed’). Some offences may change category, for example from theft to robbery. The police return provisional figures to the Home Office on a monthly basis and each month they may supply revised totals for months that have previously been supplied. The Home Office Statistics Unit undertake a series of validation checks on receipt of the data and query outliers with forces who may then re-submit data.

Once a quarter, the Home Office Statistics Unit takes a ‘snapshot’ of the live database and sends back to individual forces their figures for quality assurance. Once the quality assurance process is complete, final data are supplied to ONS. Thus it should be noted that figures in subsequent releases may differ slightly from ones published here. This does not mean that the figures previously published were inaccurate at the time that they were reported. The size of these revisions tend to be small and it is ONS policy not to revise previously published recorded crime figures unless they arise from a genuine error (for example, a force subsequently reports that when supplying theft and robbery figures they had been transposed). Information on analysis of revisions to police recorded crime data conducted by ONS can be found in the Crime Statistics Quality and Methodology Information report.

 

Notes for Accuracy of the statistics

  1. See the transcript for the Public Administration Select Committee hearing on Crime Statistics, 19 November 2013.

Changes in presentation

ONS undertook a consultation during 2012 over proposed changes to the presentation of crime statistics. A summary response was published in January 2013 and several changes to the presentation of crime statistics were implemented in subsequent bulletins (released in July 2013, October 2013 and January 2014). This included re-classifying some elements of the police recorded crime data series. These changes do not affect the coverage of offences in the police recorded crime series, and are restricted to movement of offences across categories. Further detail of the changes can be found in the relevant sections of this bulletin and a more in-depth explanation of the changes can be found in the: Methodological note: Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales.

On top of the alterations to presentation already implemented, the consultation on changes to the content of regular crime statistics outputs also proposed minor changes to the CSEW classifications (such as moving ‘Robbery’ out of the ‘Violence’ offence category into a separate standalone category to match the presentation of recorded crime). A work programme is ongoing to implement these, which also includes a related piece of work to produce revised survey weights following the release of the 2011 Census-based population estimates. New CSEW crime classifications will be published within the July 2014 bulletin.

Further information

Further information on definitions and interpretations of the statistics can be found in the User Guide. Data published alongside this commentary include a set of bulletin tables containing the data tables and the data used to produce graphs in this publication. A further set of reference tables provides more detailed estimates and counts of crime levels and links to these tables are given in the ‘List of products’ section.

Further information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the different departments involved in the production and publication of crime statistics can be found in the Crime Statistics Quality and Methodology Information report.

 

Overall level of crime

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates that there were 7.5 million incidents of crime for the year ending December 2013, a 15% decrease compared with the previous year (Tables 3a and 3b). This latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981 and the 15% year on year decrease is the largest recorded by the survey. The level of incidents in the year ending December 2013 survey is now 25% lower than that of the 2007/08 survey. CSEW estimates of crime are now 60% lower than peak levels seen in 1995, representing 11.6 million fewer crimes (Table 3a).

The number of incidents does not simply translate into the number of victims as some people experience more than one crime over the 12 month period they are asked about. Victimisation rates are available throughout this bulletin and in reference tables published alongside this bulletin (see Appendix tables).

There were 3.7 million offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales in the year to December 2013, the lowest number of offences since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/031. This was a 2% decrease from the previous year, and follows reductions in recent years (Figure 3). The latest number of offences recorded by the police was 25% lower than 2007/08 and 38% lower than 2002/03 (Tables 4a and b). The rate of reduction in police recorded crime, however, has slowed.

Expanded coverage of offences in the recorded crime collection, following changes to the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) in 1998, and the introduction of the NCRS in April 2002, saw increases in the number of crimes recorded by the police while the CSEW count fell. Following the bedding in of these changes, trends from the two series tracked each other well from 2002/03 until 2007/08. While both series continued to show a downward trend between 2007/08 and 2012/13 the gap between the two series widened with the police recorded crime series showing a faster rate of reduction (32% for the police compared with 19% for the CSEW)2. However, more recently, this pattern has changed with the recorded crime series showing smaller reductions than the survey.

One possible factor behind the difference between the two sources in the size of the decreases is the recent renewed focus on the quality of crime recording by the police in the light of the ongoing inspections of forces by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry into crime statistics, and the UK Statistics Authority’s decision to remove the National Statistics designation from recorded crime. There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest there are genuine increases in the volume of some categories of offences being reported to the police, which are not covered by the Crime Survey count (such as shoplifting and fraud).

There were 3.1 million victim-based crimes recorded by the police in the year ending December 20133. To put this volume into context, this is equivalent to 55 recorded offences per 1,000 population (though this should not be read as a victimisation rate as multiple offences could be reported by the same victim). The volume of victim-based crime was down 3% compared with the previous year (Table 4a and 4b). This overall grouping accounts for 84% of all crime recorded by the police in the year to December 2013, and, due to the high volume of crimes in the category, it has accounted for most of the fall in overall police recorded crime seen since 2002/03 (Table 4b).

Eleven per cent of the police recorded crimes that are not victim-based offences are classified as ‘Other crimes against society’4. Crimes in this category showed a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year, with 397,100 offences recorded. Trends in such offences tend to reflect changes in police workload and activity rather than levels of criminality. For example, the marked increases shown in these offences between 2004/05 and 2008/09 coincided with the priority placed on increasing the numbers of offenders brought to justice associated with Public Service Agreement targets in place at that time. This is particularly evident in the trend for drug offences (for which the increase was mainly driven by the introduction of cannabis warnings) and public order offences (see the ‘Other crimes against society’ section for further details).

In addition, there were 207,252 fraud offences in the year ending December 2013. These were recorded by the police and Action Fraud in England and Wales (Table 20a). This represents an increase of 25% compared with the previous year and an increase of 191% compared with 2007/08. This increase should be seen in the context of the move to centralised recording of fraud to Action Fraud. Caution should be applied when comparing latest fraud data with earlier years (see the ‘Fraud’ section for more details).

Figure 3 shows the time-series for both the CSEW and police recorded offences. CSEW crime rose steadily from 1981, before peaking in 1995. After peaking, the CSEW showed marked falls up until the 2004/05 survey. Since then, the overall decline has continued but at a slower rate, with some years showing smaller, non-statistically significant year-on-year changes, and others with larger and statistically significant changes.

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 HOCR resulted in an increase in recorded offences; see Chapter 3 of the User Guide for more information. This was followed by the introduction of the NCRS in April 2002 which led to a further rise in recording in 2002/03 and 2003/04. Following the bedding in of these changes, the direction of trends for police recorded crime and the CSEW have generally tracked each other well since 2003/04, with both data series showing declines in crime over this period, with the exception of some short term divergences in recent years.

 

Figure 3: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 3: Trends in police recorded crime and CSEW, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Sources: Crime Survey for England and Wales - Office for National Statistics, Police recorded crime - Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. 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).

 

Notes for Overall level of crime

  1. 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.
  2. See the ‘Analysis of Variation in Crime trends’ methodological note and Section 4.2 of the User Guide for more details.
  3. Victim-based crimes are those offences with a specific identifiable victim. These cover the police recorded crime categories of violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, theft offences, and criminal damage and arson.
  4. ‘Other crimes against society’ cover offences without a direct victim, and includes drug offences, possession of weapon offences, public order offences and miscellaneous crimes against society.

Violent crime

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. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded statistics capture slightly different information in their respective “violent” crime categories. For example, 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 violent crime statistics (it is reported as a separate stand-alone category - see the ‘Robbery’ section), but is currently included within CSEW violence. Following recent consultation with users this will change; from the July 2014 release onwards, robbery will be presented as a stand-alone category for both the CSEW and police recorded crime1.

Violent crime in the CSEW is referred to as “Violence”, and includes wounding, assault, and robbery. There are additional breakdowns for violence with and without injury, as well as on the offender-victim relationship. Violent crime in police recorded data is referred to as “Violence against the person” and includes homicide, violence with injury, and violence without injury.

The CSEW showed a 22% fall in its estimate of the levels of violence based on interviews in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 5a and 5b). While this fall continues the general decline recorded by the survey over the last decade, the size of the annual decrease is more substantial than those seen in recent years. The size of the year on year fall is being driven by estimates in the two most recent quarterly periods (July to September 2013 and October to December 2013) which are considerably lower than those seen in preceding quarters (Table QT2). It is therefore too early to tell if the current estimate is indicative of an acceleration of the downward trend or due to sampling variability.

Latest CSEW estimates show there were 1.5 million violent incidents in England and Wales, which is the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 1981 (Figure 4). Violent incidents constitute 20% of all CSEW crime in the latest survey, making them an important driver of overall CSEW trends.

With regard to the latest estimate, the number of violent incidents over the medium term decreased 30% since the 2007/08 survey (Table 5b) and 63% from the peak of violent crime in 1995. To put these figures in context, around 2 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). However, it is important to note that victimisation rates vary considerably across the population and by geographic area. Such variations in victimisation rates are further explored in ONS thematic reports, which are published annually2.

Separate research conducted by the Violence and Society Research Group at Cardiff University (Sivarajasingam et al., 2014) indicates a fall in the level 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 12% in serious violence-related attendances in 2013 compared with 2012. In addition, National Health Service (NHS) data on assault admissions to hospitals in England show that for the 12 months to the end of March 2013 there were 32,979 hospital admissions for assault, a reduction of 15% compared with figures for the preceding 12 months3.

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 4: Trends in CSEW violence, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. Prior to 2001/02, CSEW respondents were asked about their experience of crime in the previous calendar year, so year-labels identify the year in which the crime took place. Following the change to continuous interviewing, respondents' experience of crime relates to the full 12 months prior to interview (i.e. a moving reference period). Year-labels 2001/02 onwards identify the CSEW year of interview.
  3. The number of incidents are derived by multiplying incidence rates by the population estimates for England and Wales.

The CSEW violence offences can be broken down further into ‘Violence with injury’ and ‘Violence without injury’. Both subcategories showed decreases; violence with injury down 25% and violence without injury down 20% in the year ending December 2013.

Estimates of violence against 10 to 15 year olds as measured by the CSEW can be found in the section ‘Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’.

The overall level of violence against the person recorded by the police in the year ending December 2013 showed a 1% increase compared with the previous year (Tables 6a and 6b)4. This rise is in contrast to the falls shown by the Crime Survey and figures on attendances at Accident and Emergency departments due to violent assaults, cited previously. As such, the recent increase in violence in the police series is likely to reflect improvements in recording and possibly a rise in public reporting.

While the latest year on year comparison points to a rise of 1%, the volume of violence against the person offences recorded by the police has fallen by 18% from 2007/08 and by 13% from 2002/03. The rates for violence against the person have dropped from 14 recorded offences per 1,000 population in 2007/08 to 11 recorded offences per 1,000 population in the year ending December 2013 (Table 6a).

In September 2013, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) was commissioned by the Home Secretary to inspect the police response to domestic violence and abuse. While the HMIC report expressed concerns about the police response, it noted the majority of Police and Crime Commissioners were now showing a strong commitment to tackling domestic abuse. An analysis of the Police and Crime Plans showed it is the second most common crime type mentioned as a priority. Many police forces have chosen, rightly in HMICs view, not to set a target of reducing recorded domestic abuse offences as they recognise this is a significantly under reported area; instead just under half of the plans contain a commitment to increase the reporting of this type of offence.

It is likely therefore that an increase in the reporting of domestic abuse and subsequent recording of these offences by the police has in-part contributed to the slight increase (1%) seen in the overall level of violence against the person. In their inspection, HMIC found that domestic abuse related crime comprised 33% of assault with injury offences. It is also possible that some forces have been taking action to generally improve their compliance with the NCRS given the renewed focus on the accuracy of crime recording.

In the year ending December 2013 the police recorded 551 homicides, 9 fewer than in the previous year (Table 6a)5. This drop should be viewed in context; 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 century6, and this had increased at a faster rate than population growth. Since then however, the number of homicides recorded each year has fallen year on year to the current level, while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow. In 2003/04, there were 15 homicides per 1,000,000 population7. The latest data show homicide rates have reduced considerably since then with 10 homicides per 1,000,000 population recorded during the year to December 2013.

As with homicide, the other two categories of police recorded offences for violence against the person have also declined over the past decade. In the year ending December 2013, ‘Violence with injury’ has dropped by 15% from 2002/03, while ‘Violence without injury’ has declined by 11% over the same period. The latest data, however, suggest that the numbers of violent offences might be starting to level out; ‘Violence with injury’ showed no change compared with the previous year and ‘Violence without injury’ increased by 3% over the same period. For more detailed information on trends and the circumstances of violence against the person, see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13'.

 

Notes for Violent crime

  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. For more information on violent crime see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.
  3. Based on the latest National Health Service (NHS) Hospital Episode Statistics.
  4. Police recorded violence against the person does not include sexual offences or robbery. Refer to Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding coverage of crime measures.
  5. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.
  6. Figures are taken from the Homicide Index as they 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.
  7. While most rates of recorded crime are given per 1,000 population, due to the relatively low number of offences recorded, and to aid interpretation, homicide rates are given per 1,000,000 population.

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 Crime Survey for England and Wales (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 not all robberies will be reported to the police. For CSEW estimates of robbery see Appendix tables A1, A2 and A3.

Robbery is a relatively low volume offence accounting for less than 2% of all police recorded crime in the year ending December 2013. 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).

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Figure 5: Trends in police recorded robberies, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

The latest figures show police recorded robberies decreased by 12% in the year ending December 2013 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 has been a general downward trend between 2002/03 and 2010/11 in England and Wales. The latest figure shows the number of robbery offences falling to 59,427, the lowest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03 (Figure 5).

In the year ending December 2013, 90% of robberies recorded by the police were of personal property. The police recorded 53,641 of these offences, down 12% compared with the previous year. Robbery of business property (which makes up the remaining 10% of total robbery offences) fell by 7% compared with the previous year continuing the recent downward trend. In the year ending December 2013, around one in five robberies (21%) recorded by the police involved a knife or other sharp instrument, the same level as recorded in the previous year (21%) (Table 9).

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 shows that the number of robberies for the year ending December 2013 was 30,018, a decrease of 17% from the previous year (Tables P1-P3). This follows increases in robberies in the Metropolitan Police force area in the previous two years (specifically, 8% in year ending March 2012 and 7% in the year ending March 2011). Falls in robbery offences were also seen in other large metropolitan police force areas (Table P2), most notably West Yorkshire (down by 13% to 1,869 offences), Greater Manchester (down by 7% to 3,760 offences) and West Midlands (down by 6% to 5,334 offences).

 

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, 2012/13’).

Police recorded crime figures showed an increase of 17% in all sexual offences for the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (up from 52,222 to 60,894; Table 8a). This is the highest level recorded since 2004/05, when 60,924 offences were recorded. Evidence suggests some of this increase is likely to be a result of Operation Yewtree, connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry, initiated in October 2012. This increase was not only as a direct consequence of the crimes reported as part of Operation Yewtree, but also as a wider “Yewtree effect”, whereby there is increased willingness on the part of the victims to come forward and report sexual offences that are not directly connected to Yewtree.

As the official statistics on crime are based on rolling 12 month counts, the first rise in sexual offences in the wake of Operation Yewtree emerged in the year ending March 2013 data. Subsequent annual datasets saw the increase becoming more pronounced as more of the reference period was post Yewtree. The latest estimate for the year ending December 2013 covers a full 12 month period post Yewtree and, for the first time, a quarter of the comparator year. Thus the recent trend of accelerating rises in sexual offences has started to slow with the increase in the year ending December 2013, compared with the previous year, being the same as the increase reported in the year ending September 2013 publication.

Police recorded rape increased by 20% compared with the previous year (19,124 offences) and is now at the highest level since the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced in 2002/03; other sexual offences increased by 15%.

The large rise in rapes and other sexual offences is partly due to increases in offences involving children (see Appendix table A4). There were 13,090 sexual offences involving a child under the age of 13 in the year to December 2013, the highest reported total for these offence categories since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03 and an increase of 32% on the previous 12 months1. The latest police recorded crime data for the year ending December 2013 showed that:

  • The number of rapes and sexual assaults involving a female child under the age of 13 increased 25% compared with the previous year, from 6,097 to 7,611 offences.

  • The number of rapes and sexual assaults involving a male child under the age of 13 increased by 54% compared with the previous year, from 1,775 to 2,727 offences.

  • The number of ‘Sexual activity involving a child under 13’ offences increased by 36% compared with the previous year, from 2,024 to 2,752.

Similar increases are reflected in a recent media release by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which reported that police recorded offences relating to sexual abuse on children under the age of 11 increased 16% in the 2012/13 financial year when compared with the previous year2. The NSPCC attributed some of this increase to the impact of the Yewtree effect.

The NSPCC have also recently released the findings of a focus group exploration into the underreporting of crimes by Jimmy Savile; in particular, attributing the media coverage of the crimes as a key reason as to why victims had felt able to come forward and report their abuse to the police.

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, introduced in May 2004, altered the definition and coverage of sexual offences.

As well as a greater proportion of victims coming forward to report crimes, such increases should be seen in a wider context. On 1 April 2010, extra guidance for the recording of sexual offences was incorporated into the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) and this reflected good practice guidance previously issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The rise in the number of rape offences recorded by the police in the year to December 2013 follows increases in the number of police recorded rape offences over the past five years – there have been increases of 51% since 2007/08 (Table 8b) and 56% from 2002/03 (Figure 6).

Additionally, concerns were raised in 2012 around the extent to which police recording practices for sexual offences were in line with the overall counting rules for recorded crime, as well as the consistency of recording practice between police forces (see HMIC and HMCPSI, 2012). Further concerns about the accuracy of police recorded crime data for sexual offences were expressed more recently in evidence presented to the ongoing Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry3. In response to this, the Metropolitan Police have announced that they are investigating reports of recording inconsistencies with regard to rapes and sexual offences4. This is reviewing processes around the overall recording of sexual offences, and more specifically allegations that victims have had their reports of rapes and sexual assaults inappropriately ‘no-crimed’ (when a claim is reviewed and subsequently deemed not a crime)5.

Additional information from Home Office Data Hub

Further insight into the “Yewtree effect” can be provided by looking at the Home Office Data Hub, a tool where some police forces supply more detailed recorded crime data, including information such as when an offence took place, in addition to when it was recorded by police. Analysis using these data is limited to just over half of the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, and is subject to continuing quality assurance. It notably excludes the Metropolitan Police Service, which accounts for around a sixth (17%) of all sexual offences recorded by the police in the year to December 2013. As a result, these data are only able to provide a partial and provisional picture.

The forces for which data are available show that the majority (70% in the year ending December 2013) of sexual offences occur in the previous 12 months, rather than historical, and therefore these offences drive the overall trend in sexual offences.

This partial picture suggests that the increase in sexual offences in the last 12 months is driven by a rise in the number of both “historical” and “current” sexual offences reported to the police.

Figure 7 illustrates that the increase in sexual offences across forces for which data were available in the year to December 2013 can be explained by an increase of:

  • 14% in current offences (occurring in the past 12 months), accounting for half (50%) of the latest increase in volume of overall sexual offences;

  • 48% in historic offences occurring more than 20 years ago, accounting for around a fifth (21%) of the increase in volume of overall sexual offences; and

  • 33% in offences occurring between 1 and 20 years ago, accounting for over a quarter (29%) of the increase in volume of overall sexual offences.

Figure 7: Recorded sexual offences in selected police force areas, by age of offence, year ending December 2013

Figure 7: Recorded sexual offences in selected police force areas, by age of offence, year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office Data Hub
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

As expected, as time passes from when Operation Yewtree was initiated (October 2012), for the available forces the contribution of the number of historical offences to the overall rise in sexual offences has declined. When Operation Yewtree was first initiated there was a large increase in historical offences (occurring more than 20 years ago) reported to the police that accounted for 41% of the sexual offences increase in the year ending June 20136. Over time, this has fallen slightly, though the number of historical sexual offences is still higher than prior to Yewtree, and for the year ending December 2013 these offences accounted for 21% of the sexual offences increase.

The reverse has been seen in the case of sexual offences occurring in the last 12 months, where the initial increase took longer to filter through, which was then followed by a sharp increase. To put this into context, for the forces available in the year ending June 20137, sexual offences occurring in the last 12 months accounted for 24% of the increase, whereas for the latest time period these offences accounted for 50% of the increase. Although these time periods include overlapping data, they are indicative of the changing composition of these offences. This points to a wider “Yewtree effect”, as more victims are willing to come forward and report recent sexual offences. There may also be a recording effect with forces taking steps to improve their handling of allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Crime Survey for England and Wales

Due to the small number of sexual offences identified in the main Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) crime count, estimates of the volume of incidents are too unreliable to report. Since 2004/05, the CSEW has included a self-completion questionnaire module on intimate violence which does provide a measure of the proportion of people who have been victims of sexual offences and supplements the information presented here8. Detailed findings from this module for the year ending March 2013 are available in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.

 

Notes for Sexual offences

  1. The offences combined to make this figure include ‘Rape of a female child under 13’, ‘Rape of a male child under 13’, ‘Sexual assault on a male child under 13’, ‘Sexual assault on a female child under 13’, and ‘Sexual activity involving a child under 13’.
  2. National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) data used responses from 41 police forces. The media release was published on 13 January 2014.
  3. See the transcript for the Public Administration Select Committee hearing on Crime Statistics, 19 November 2013.
  4. The investigation was announced at a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing, 3 December 2013.
  5. See the transcript for the Public Administration Select Committee hearing on Crime Statistics, 8 January 2014.
  6. For more details see ’Crime Statistics, period ending June 2013’.
  7. Ibid.
  8. See Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding intimate violence.

Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

Some of the more serious types of offence in the recorded crime data (violent, robbery and sexual offences) can be broken down by whether or not a knife or sharp instrument was involved1,2.

In the year ending December 2013, the police recorded 26,143 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a 4% decrease compared with the previous year (27,336, Table 9). Analysis of selected individual offence groups shows that the fall in knife or sharp instrument offences is largely due to a reduction in robbery offences involving a knife or sharp instrument (down 12% compared with the previous year); a pattern that is consistent with the overall reductions in these offences3.

The number of homicides involving a knife or sharp instrument decreased to 187 offences in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (down by 5% from 197 offences).  The number of rape offences involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police increased by 21%, from 195 offences to 236. The number of sexual assaults involving a knife or sharp instrument remained similar in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (91 and 90 respectively). However, in statistical terms, the relatively low number of homicides, rapes and sexual assaults that involve the use of a knife or sharp instrument means percentage changes should be interpreted with caution.

Of the violent offences selected in Table 9, around 6% involved a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending December 2013; this was the same proportion to that for the previous year. Over a third of homicides (36%) and half of attempted murders (50%) involved a knife or sharp instrument, similar to twelve months ago (36% and 49% respectively).

Further analysis on offences involving knives and sharp instruments recorded in 2012/13 has been published in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.

An additional source of information about incidents involving knives and sharp instruments is provided by National Health Service (NHS) hospital admission statistics4. 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 March 2013 there were 3,833 admissions, a 15% decrease on the previous year. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument in 2012/13 were the lowest since 2002/035.

 

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. Until April 2010, West Midlands Police force included unbroken bottle and glass offences in their statistics, 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 for more details.
  4. It should be noted that while it is a requirement to record every hospital admission, completing the field for external cause is not always done. They also do not include any figures from Wales.
  5. Year ending March 2013 provisional figures are available in the latest full year Hospital Episode Statistics; a graph based on financial years is available in the latest ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’ release.

Offences involving firearms

Similar to the breakdown of offences involving knives or sharp instruments, provisional statistics for the year ending December 2013 are available for police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons (referred to as offences involving firearms)1. 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 trends and the circumstances of offences involving firearms recorded in 2012/13 see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’.

Figures for the year ending December 2013 show 4,895 offences involving firearms were recorded in England and Wales, a 6% decrease compared with the previous year (5,191, Tables 10a and 10b).

Figure 8 shows the trend from 2002/03 and demonstrates that since 2005/06 there has been a substantial decrease in the number of offences involving firearms recorded by the police. The volume of such offences has fallen by half (50%) since 2007/08 (Table 10b). This reduction in offences involving firearms is, in percentage terms, a larger reduction than that seen in overall violent crime.

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

Notes for Offences involving firearms

  1. Firearms data are provisional figures supplied by the police as at 20 February 2014. Final figures for offences involving firearms for the time period April 2012 to March 2013 were published on 13 February 2014 in the latest ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’ release.

Theft offences

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime both measure various theft offences. Both series cover the headline categories of domestic burglary, vehicle-related theft, theft from the person, and bicycle theft. Theft of property from outside people’s homes (for example, garden furniture and tools) and theft of unattended property as measured by the CSEW are incorporated within the police recorded crime category ‘Other theft’. Additionally, shoplifting offences, which are not included in the CSEW, are recorded by the police1.

There are substantial overlaps between theft offences in the two data series; however, the CSEW shows a larger volume as it includes incidents not reported to the police. Police recorded theft is broader, covering a wider variety of offences and victims; for example, police recorded theft includes theft against commercial victims and offences of handling stolen goods whereas the survey does not. Theft offences recorded by the police do not include robbery as these are recorded as a separate offence (see the ‘Robbery’ section), whereas, for the CSEW, the figure for ‘All acquisitive crime’ does include robbery incidents.

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.

Theft offences (acquisitive crime) accounted for 61% of all incidents measured by the CSEW (an estimated 4.6 million incidents) and half (50%) of all police recorded crime (1.9 million offences) in the year ending December 2013.

The long-term trend in CSEW theft reflects the long-term trend in total CSEW crime, having shown steady increases from 1981 when the survey started, peaking in 1995, followed by declines since that year.

As theft offences make up half of all police recorded crime, it is important in driving the overall trend. Since 2002/03, the number of theft offences has shown year-on-year decreases and is 45% lower in volume in the year ending December 2013 than in 2002/03 (Figure 9). The latest figures show a 4% decrease compared with the previous year (Appendix table A4).

Figure 9: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Figure 9: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Further analysis on theft offences, based on the 2012/13 CSEW, was published on 28 November 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’. More detail of possible hypotheses for the fall in property crimes can be found in ‘Trends in Crime: a Short Story, 2011/12’ published on 19 July 2012.

The next few sections discuss the different types of theft offences in more detail; burglary, vehicle-related thefts and other theft of property.

 

 

Notes for Theft offences

  1. For more information see Section 5.2 of the User Guide.

Theft offences – Burglary

Despite some fluctuations from year to year, the underlying trend in domestic burglary (which involves unauthorised entry into a dwelling) has remained fairly flat in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) since 2004/05 (Figure 10). The apparent 4% fall in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year was not statistically significant. It is too early to say whether this apparent decrease shows an emerging downward trend, though estimates for the year ending December 2013 are 14% lower than those in the 2007/08 CSEW (Table 11b).

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. 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 interview carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

CSEW burglary follows a similar pattern to that seen for overall crime, peaking in the mid-1990s survey and then falling steeply until the 2004/05 survey. Estimates from the year ending December 2013 are 65% 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 2013 survey compared with around 6 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Therefore, households are now around three times less likely to be a victim of burglary than in 1995 (Table 11a).

The police recorded crime statistics measure both domestic burglaries (for example those against inhabited dwellings) and non-domestic burglaries (those against businesses). When compared with the previous year, domestic burglary decreased by 6% while non-domestic burglary decreased by 3% in the year ending December 2013 (Table 12a and 12b)1. The latest level of burglary recorded by the police is half the level recorded in 2002/03.

Notes for Theft offences – Burglary

  1. Non-domestic burglary covers burglary in a building other than a dwelling. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide for more details regarding this crime type.

Theft offences – Vehicle

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) covers offences against vehicles owned by any member of the household interviewed (including company cars). Estimates of CSEW vehicle-related theft for the year ending December 2013 fell by 10% compared with the previous year (Table 13a and 13b)1.

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 2007/08 survey, and 59% lower than the 2002/03 survey. As shown in Figure 11, the rate of reduction in vehicle offences since the mid-1990s has been striking, and as previously reported, 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 five times less likely to become a victim of vehicle-related theft in the year ending December 2013 survey than in 1995, with around 4 in 100 vehicle-owning households being victims in the year ending December 2013 survey compared with around 20 in 100 households in the 1995 survey (Table 13a).

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
  2. 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 interview carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

The police recorded crime category of vehicle offences covers both private and commercial vehicles and shows a fall of 4% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 14a and 14b). This follows substantial decreases in this offence group with falls of 42% compared with 2007/08 and 65% 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 vehicles offences have continued to fall, including theft of a motor vehicle, which fell by 8% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Table 14b).

The reductions in vehicle-related theft indicated by the CSEW and police recorded crime are in contrast to the number of motor vehicles licensed in Great Britain, which has increased by 38% from 25.4 million at the end of 1995 to 35.0 million at the end of 2013 (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2013)3.

Notes for Theft offences – Vehicle

  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’.
  3. Based on the total number of licensed vehicles (including both private and commercial vehicles) in England, Scotland and Wales taken from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) database.

Theft offences – Other theft of property

In addition to burglary and vehicle-related thefts, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime both measure ‘Other theft of property’, although they cover slightly different offences. In the CSEW this comprises: theft from the person; other theft of personal property; bicycle theft; and other household theft. In police recorded crime there are categories for: theft from the person; bicycle theft; shoplifting; and all other theft offences. There are further offence breakdowns available for all other theft offences listed in Appendix table A4.

Since April 2013, a new police recorded offence of ‘Making off without payment’ has been included within ‘All other theft offences’. These offences were previously included as fraud offences. Making off without payment covers offences in which the offender intentionally fails to pay for goods or services, for example by driving away from a petrol station, or running off from a taxi without paying. A back series, first published in the previous quarterly release, is now available in Appendix table A4. For more information about these changes, see the ‘Recent changes in presentation’ section in the Introduction.

Theft from the person – CSEW and police recorded crime

Theft from the person involves offences where there is theft of property, while the property is being carried by, or on the person of, the victim (for example pick-pocketing). Unlike robbery, these offences do not involve violence or threats to the victim. In the CSEW, the majority of these thefts (88% in the year ending December 2013) are made up of stealth thefts, and therefore, at the time the offence was committed, the victim was unaware that the items were being stolen (for more information see Appendix table A1).

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in theft from the person based on interviews in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (the apparent 2% decrease was not statistically significant; Tables 15a and 15b). Estimates of the volume of theft from the person offences are low and subject to fluctuations from year to year in the survey. The CSEW shows 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 12). Other than this, CSEW estimates of theft from the person have remained fairly flat.

The police recorded crime category theft from the person accounts for around 3% of overall police recorded crime. Latest figures showed a 2% decrease in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). This is in contrast to recent trends, where these offences have been increasing in each of the last two years. Thus, the number of offences of theft from the person is still 3% higher than that recorded in 2007/08. However, those rises were preceded by significant falls, meaning the latest figure is 29% below the volume in 2002/03 (Appendix table A4).

Further analysis of theft from the person figures by police force area shows a mixed picture, with some forces continuing to show increases while most showing decreases. As with robbery, theft from the person offences are concentrated in the metropolitan areas, with 44% occurring in the Metropolitan Police force area alone. The previous overall increases were largely driven by what was happening in London, where theft of smartphones and other portable devices were thought to be behind some of this rise1. The latest figures for the Metropolitan Police force area show a decrease of 4% (Tables P1-P3). In addition, the British Transport Police, who cover crimes that occur on railways and on railway platforms and stations, showed an 8% decrease in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year.

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 workman2. Around half of these incidents involve theft of garden furniture or household items/furniture taken from outside the dwelling3; these thefts are generally opportunistic in nature.

The CSEW showed a 25% fall in other household theft based on interviews in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. Despite this recent large decrease, the latest estimate is just 1% lower than the 2007/08 survey, which was the previous lowest estimate on record. However, the current decrease, combined with decreases seen between 1995 and 2007/08, means that the latest figure is now 54% lower than in the 1995 survey (Figure 12). Overall, the year to December 2013 survey estimated that there were around 1.0 million incidents of other household theft (Tables 15a and 15b), making up 13% of all CSEW crime.

Figure 12: Trends in CSEW other household theft and theft from the person , 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 12: Trends in CSEW other household theft and theft from the person , 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. 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 interview carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

Other theft of personal property – CSEW

Other theft of personal property offences are those 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 or workplaces). The CSEW estimates that there were around 940,000 incidents of theft of personal property in the survey year ending December 2013. This was an apparent 8% decrease compared with the previous survey year, though was not statistically significant (Appendix table A1). The underlying trend has been fairly flat in recent years – since 2004/05 estimates have fluctuated slightly but generally stayed around 1.0 million offences. Looking at the longer term trend, theft of other personal property saw marked declines from the mid-1990s and the current estimate is half the level seen in the 1995 survey.

Bicycle theft – CSEW and police recorded crime

There was a 22% decrease in bicycle theft incidents, based on CSEW interviews in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 15a and 15b). This is one of the lower volume CSEW offence groups and can show large fluctuations from year to year. Appendix table A1 suggests that, like other household theft, these incidents showed a marked decline between 1995 and the 2001/02 survey, with both small increases and decreases thereafter. The variability means that emerging trends have to be interpreted with caution. The year ending December 2013 CSEW indicates that around 3% of bicycle owning households were victims of bicycle theft in the previous 12 months, down from 4% in the 2007/08 survey.

Bicycle thefts recorded by the police decreased by 5% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). This latest figure may provide clearer evidence of an emerging downward trend after a period of relatively stable levels. The current level (96,652 offences) is the lowest since 2002/03 when the NCRS was first introduced.

Shoplifting – police recorded crime

Shoplifting accounted for 9% of all police recorded crime in the year ending December 2013. The police recorded 317,027 shoplifting offences in this period, a 6% increase compared with the previous year. The volume of shoplifting recorded this year is the highest since 2008/09, when there were 320,739 recorded offences. The trend in shoplifting recorded by the police is different from that seen for other theft offences. While most theft offences saw steady declines in the number of crimes recorded by the police over much of the last decade, levels of recorded shoplifting showed comparatively little change over this time.

Thirty-four of the 43 territorial police force areas reported an increase in shoplifting in the year to December 2013 (Table P2). West Midlands and Merseyside police force areas, which together account for 8% of all shoplifting offences, both recorded large increases (20% for West Midlands, 16% for Merseyside). Conversely, the Metropolitan Police, which recorded 12% of all shoplifting offences, showed a 1% decrease.

The 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides a measure of shoplifting (referred to in the survey as ‘theft by customers’) which includes crimes not reported to the police. The 2013 survey estimated that there were 3.3 million incidents of theft by customers in the wholesale and retail sector; this is over ten times the number of shoplifting offences recorded by the police. This reflects the fact that most incidents of shoplifting do not come to the attention of the police. As such, recorded crime figures for this type of offence are highly dependent on whether the businesses report the incidents to the police.

To put the latest figures into context, the 2013 CVS indicates that there have been substantial falls in shoplifting over the last decade, with the number of incidents of customer theft having fallen from 12.2 million in the 2002 CVS.

The low rate of reporting to the police presents challenges in interpreting trends in police recorded shoplifting. There are a number of factors that should be considered, including:

  • an increase in reporting, whereby retailers may adopt new strategies or approaches to deal with shoplifters (such as one announced recently by the Cooperative supermarket chain4), which in turn means the police record more shoplifting offences;

  • changes to police recording practices, as while there is no specific evidence to suggest there has been a recent change in the recording of shoplifting offences, it is not possible to rule this out; and

  • a real increase in the number of shoplifting offences being committed; findings from the recent British Retail Consortium (BRC) survey showed that their members are experiencing higher levels of shoplifting.

Anecdotal evidence from police forces, and the additional evidence from the BRC survey, suggests that this is likely to be a real increase in shoplifting.

All other theft offences – police recorded crime

The remainder of police recorded theft offences fall into the category ’All other theft offences‘, which include offences such as blackmail, theft by an employee, and ‘Making off without payment’ (for example, driving away from a petrol station without paying). There is also an ‘Other theft’ offence category, which comprises mostly of the theft of unattended items (including both personal property such as wallets or phones, and property from outside peoples’ homes, such as garden furniture). ‘Other theft’ accounts for 76% of the overall ’All other theft offences‘ category.

The most recent police recorded data showed an 8% decrease in all other theft offences, with 517,869 offences in the year to December 2013 compared with 565,965 in the previous year. This decrease is in contrast with a recent upward trend in all other theft offences between 2009/10 and 2011/12 (Appendix table A4). Prior to that, there was a longer downward trend between 2003/04 and 2009/10 (Figure 13).

The offence ‘Making off without payment’ has recently been moved from within fraud (where it was not separately identifiable from within that category) to ‘All other theft offences’, where it is now identifiable. In order to provide a consistent back series of data back to 2002/03, ONS requested an ad hoc collection from all forces. This was available for the first time in the previous quarterly release and can now be found in Appendix table A4.

In the year to December 2013 the police recorded 49,659 making off without payment offences, which was a 5% decrease compared to the previous year. The numbers provided by police forces as part of the back series show a steep decline in this particular offence, with the latest numbers 62% lower than those in 2002/03 (129,123).

Figure 13: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Figure 13: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime are not designated as National Statistics.

As well as theft of unattended items, the police recorded ‘Other theft’ sub-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. ‘Other theft’ offences saw a 9% decrease for the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year (Appendix table A4). This follows a 13% increase between 2009/10 and 2011/12. This is likely to have been caused in part by a surge in metal theft over this period, which corresponds with a spike in metal prices. Evidence suggests that such offences are decreasing and should be seen in the context of new metal theft legislation. The legislation came into force in May 2013, which increased fines for existing offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964, and introduced a new offence for dealers of paying for scrap metal in cash. For further information on metal theft, see the Home Office publication: Metal theft, England and Wales, financial year ending March 2013.

 

Notes for Theft offences – Other theft of property

  1. Based on figures provided by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a freedom of information (FOI) request reported by London Evening Standard – 4th April 2013.
  2. For more details on the offences that constitute CSEW other household theft see Section 5.2 and Appendix 2 of the User Guide.
  3. For more details, see the Nature of Crime tables in ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’.
  4. As reported in the Nottingham Post, 18 December 2013.

Vandalism and criminal damage

Based on Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) interviews in the year ending December 2013, there were around 1.5 million incidents of vandalism of personal and household property; this was a decrease of 15% from the previous year (Tables 17a and 17b). Figure 14 shows the long-term trend for vandalism, which has followed a slightly different pattern compared with most other CSEW crime groups. Vandalism peaked in 1993 with 3.4 million incidents followed by a series of modest falls (when compared with other CSEW offence types) until the 2003/04 survey (2.4 million offences). There was then a short upward trend until the 2006/07 CSEW (2.9 million offences), after which there were falls to its current level, the lowest since the survey began.

Figure 14: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Figure 14: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics.
  2. 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 interview carried out in the rolling 12 month periods for the latest available two years (January to December).

Tables 17a and 17b highlight the recent downward trend in this offence group. There are statistically significant decreases when comparing the current figure with those both five and ten years ago. This trend is also reflected in the decline in percentage of households victimised. Around 4 in every 100 households were victims of vandalism in the year ending December 2013 compared with around 10 in every 100 households in 1995.

Police recorded crime also shows reductions in the similar offence group of criminal damage and arson (although this also includes victims beyond the household population, like businesses)1. In the year ending December 2013 there were 510,704 offences recorded, a fall of 7% from the previous year (Tables 18a and 18b). Reductions were seen across all types of criminal damage recorded by the police (Appendix table A4)2. Criminal damage and arson offences have seen a marked fall since 2006/07 whereas previously the pattern had been fairly flat since 2002/03.

 

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 2012 and December 2013 owing to offence classification changes introduced in April 2012, however comparisons for total criminal damage are valid.

Other crimes against society

Other crimes against society are offences recorded by the police which do not generally have a specific identifiable victim. They generally make up around 11% of all police recorded crime. Trends in such offences tend to reflect changes in police workload and activity rather than in levels of criminality. For example, in recent years the increases in recorded drug offences are thought to have been influenced by proactive policing in this area.

In recent bulletins there has been some reclassification of the offences in other crimes against society. The following categories were developed:

  • Drug offences;

  • Public order offences;

  • Possession of weapons offences; and

  • Miscellaneous crimes against society.

In addition, ‘Making, supplying or possessing articles for use in fraud’ has been moved from the fraud category into miscellaneous crimes against society.

These changes were all in place for the bulletin released in July 2013, and as a result, there are no further changes in this publication.

Other crimes against society showed a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year, with 397,100 offences recorded in the year ending December 2013 (Tables 19a and 19b). Figure 15 shows the trend over time and how each separate offence category contributes to the overall figure.

Since 2002/03, the number of other crimes against society increased year-on-year until it peaked in 2007/08 (542,656 offences). Since 2007/08 the number of offences against society recorded have decreased year-on-year, mainly driven by the decreases in public order offences. The marked increases in the recording of these offences between 2004/05 and 2008/09 coincide with the priority placed on increasing the numbers of offences brought to justice associated with the previous Government’s 2005-2008 Public Service Agreement targets. This is particularly reflected in the trend for drug offences and public order offences (see relevant sections below for further details). Meanwhile, the number of possession of weapon offences has been declining since 2004/05.

Figure 15: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to the year ending December 2013

Figure 15: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to the year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office.
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.

Drug offences

The police recorded 200,789 drug offences in the year ending December 2013, a decrease of 5% compared with the previous year. Figure 15 shows the trend over time for drug offences, where the number of drug offences steadily rose from 2004/05 until 2008/09 (peaking at 243,536 offences). They remained fairly consistent at around 230,000 each year until 2011/12, when they began to fall. Despite recent decreases, the number of drug offences recorded in the year ending December 2013 remains 40% higher than the number recorded in 2002/03 (Table 19b).

The increases in the recording of drug offences between 2004/05 and 2008/09 coincide with the priority placed Public Service Agreement targets, illustrating how proactive policing can increase the number of recorded crimes against society. 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. For example, in the past decade the police have been granted powers to:

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

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

In the year ending December 2013, possession of cannabis offences accounted for 68% of all police recorded drug offences; this proportion has remained broadly similar since 2005/06 (between 67% and 70%).

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) can also be used to investigate trends in drug use. Relevant figures from the survey are compiled and published in an annual report by the Home Office, ‘Drug Misuse: findings from the 2012 to 2013 CSEW’. The general trends from the 2012/13 report show that overall illicit drug use in the last year among 16 to 59 year olds has decreased in comparison to the previous year, supporting the current decrease reported in police recorded drug offences. For further information from the CSEW on drug use see the Drug Misuse publication.

Public order offences

Public order offences cover circumstances where an offender is behaving in a way that causes, or would be likely to cause, alarm, distress or disorder. This would generally not include offences where physical violence is used (or attempted) against a victim, though it may include some offences where injury is threatened. The offences in this category include public fear, alarm or distress, which has been moved from the violence offence group. Affray is also included in this offence group, a person is guilty of affray if he/she uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his/her conduct is such as would cause a “person of reasonable firmness” present at the scene to fear for his/her personal safety.

The latest figures (131,950 offences) show a 3% decrease in public order offences compared with the previous year. The majority of this category (60% in the year ending December 2013) is made up of public fear, alarm or distress offences, which recorded a 6% decrease compared with the previous year. Public order offences rose from 2002/03 and peaked in 2006/07 and have since shown year-on-year decreases. Like drug offences, these are likely to be affected by policing activity and the scale of the decrease shown for this offence may reflect police activity rather than decreasing levels of criminality.

Possession of weapons offences

This offence category covers only weapons possession offences, where there is no direct victim. Any circumstances in which a weapon has been used against a victim would be covered by other relevant victim-based offences (for example, actual bodily harm). Information regarding offences where firearms or knives and sharp instruments have been used can be found in the ‘Offences involving firearms’ and ‘Offences involving knives and sharp instruments’ sections of this release.

The police recorded 20,480 possession of weapon offences in the year ending December 2013, similar to the previous year (20,458). The number of possession of weapons offences rose from 2002/03 and peaked in 2004/05 and has since shown year-on-year decreases.

Miscellaneous crimes against society

‘Miscellaneous crimes against society’ comprises a variety of offences (see Appendix table A4 for a full list). The largest volume offences include: handling stolen goods, threat to commit criminal damage and perverting the course of justice. The police recorded 43,881 offences in the year ending December 2013, an increase of 2% compared with the previous year. The number of miscellaneous crimes against society offences has shown year-on-year decreases between 2003/04 and year ending December 2012.

 

Fraud

The extent of fraud is difficult to measure because it is a deceptive crime, often targeted at organisations rather than individuals. Some victims of fraud may be unaware they have been a victim of crime, or that any fraudulent activity has occurred. As a result 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 (if, for example, it took place via the internet).

Recent changes to measuring fraud

The National Statistician’s Review of Crime Statistics for England and Wales 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 publications. This section draws on a range of sources including police recorded crime, Action Fraud, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (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.

There have also been a number of changes to the presentation of fraud which were introduced in the quarterly bulletin released in July 2013. To reflect changes in operational arrangements for reporting and recording of fraud, data presented in the police recorded crime series now include offences recorded by Action Fraud, a public facing national reporting centre that records incidents reported directly to them from the public and other organisations. Since 1 April 2013, Action Fraud has taken responsibility for the central recording of fraud offences previously recorded by individual police forces. To allow for piloting and development of the Action Fraud service this transfer of responsibility has had a phased introduction over the last three years.

From April 2011, Action Fraud have taken responsibility for recording fraud in all police forces areas, although the transfer was rolled out at different times for different forces. For example, by the end of December 2012, 24 police force areas had transferred responsibility with the remaining transferring by the end of March 20131. As such, the data presented in this bulletin on fraud cover both offences recorded by individual police forces, and those recorded by Action Fraud. In successive quarterly releases the proportion of fraud offences recorded by individual forces has gradually diminished (and that by Action Fraud has grown) as forces have been switching to central recording over the course of 2012/13. It will not be until figures are presented for the year ending March 2014, due to be published in July 2014, that all police recorded fraud will appear under Action Fraud.

Although Action Fraud receives reports of fraud from victims across the UK, data presented in this bulletin cover fraud offences where the victim resides in England or Wales only. Action Fraud collects data at a national level and includes types of fraud where it is not possible to attribute it to a specific police force (for example, internet based fraud); therefore Action Fraud data are not included in sub-national tables. Users of police force area level data should refer to Table 5c in the User Guide for details of when each local force transferred responsibility for recording to Action Fraud. This will allow users to interpret trends in fraud and total recorded crime over time. For example, as Cleveland transferred their fraud recording in March 2013, the 22 fraud offences recorded by the force in the year ending December 2013 do not include fraud offences that they would have otherwise recorded between March and December 2013 had they not transferred to Action Fraud. Thus it is not valid to make like for like comparisons between fraud offences recorded during the year ending December 2013 with previous years. To provide users with a comparable time series at sub-national level our reference tables include a figure for all police recorded crime excluding fraud.

In addition, changes to the way in which police record crimes of fraud following the introduction of the Fraud Act 2006 mean that fraud figures from 2007/08 onwards are not directly comparable with figures for earlier years. Changes in the number of fraud offences over time should be seen in the context of the known under-reporting of fraud and the most recent increases in the number of fraud offences recorded are likely to have been influenced by the transfer of responsibility for recording fraud offences from police forces to Action Fraud and this being an easier way for the public to report such offences. See Section 5.4 of the User Guide for more details on police recorded fraud and Action Fraud.

As mentioned earlier in the publication, the offence ‘Making off without payment’ has been removed from fraud and moved into the more appropriate ‘All other theft offences’ category. A back series has now been created and is available in this bulletin. See the ‘Theft offences – Other theft of property’ section for more information.

Total fraud offences recorded by the police (including via Action Fraud)

In the year ending December 2013, 207,252 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales (Table 20a). This is equivalent to 4 offences recorded per 1,000 population. This represents a volume increase of 25% compared with the previous year. However, the move to centralised recording of fraud makes comparisons over time problematic. There are a number of factors that may have contributed to this increase including:

  • the centralisation of recording fraud and a possible improvement in recording practices resulting from having a specialist team dealing with fraud;

  • an increased proportion of victims reporting fraud following publicity around the launch of Action Fraud; and

  • a possible increase in the volume of fraud.

It is not possible to separate out or quantify the scale of each possible factor. A clearer picture will emerge over the next one to two years once the new recording arrangements have matured. Quarterly analysis (see Table QT1) of fraud offences indicate a decline of reported fraud offences in the latest quarter, following an apparent flattening out in the previous quarter, and prior to that, several quarters of steady increases. However, the number of offences recorded in the past three quarters (April to June; July to September; and October to December) remain 21% higher than the same nine months a year earlier. It will only be in the year ending March 2015 (due to be published in July 2015) that all effects of the transition will no longer be a factor when considering the year-on-year changes in fraud.

Appendix table A5 shows a more detailed breakdown of the fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud in the year ending December 2013. For more information on the types of offences within each of the Action Fraud categories see Section 5.4 of the User Guide and Appendix table A5.

Fraud offences reported by industry bodies

In line with recommendations from the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics this bulletin draws on additional sources to provide further context. In addition to the fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud, which are included in the police recorded crime series shown above, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) also collect data on incidents of fraud direct from industry bodies (Table 21). The NFIB are based at the City of London Police, who lead national policing on fraud.

The NFIB currently include data from two industry bodies: CIFAS, a UK-wide fraud prevention service representing around 300 organisations from the public and private sectors; and Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), which collates information from the card payments industry in the UK. The NFIB will be sourcing data from additional financial and fraud prevention institutions in the future.

Data supplied by CIFAS are recorded in line with the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) for recorded crime. However, with regard to data from FFA UK, it is possible that different criteria may be used in judging whether an incident should be referred to the NFIB. For example, criteria such as cost, impact or scale of the fraud may have a bearing. Both sets of industry data relate only to those organisations that are part of the respective membership networks. These data are subject to continuing development and ONS is giving consideration as to whether these can be designated as Official Statistics in the future.

In addition, users should also be aware that the NFIB data cover the United Kingdom as a whole, while all other data in this bulletin refer to England and Wales. However, the NFIB data does provide additional context to the official statistics.

NFIB data previously published by ONS between April 2012 and April 2013 are not comparable with these latest data. Previous quarterly publications have combined NFIB figures from industry sources with Action Fraud offence data that are now included within the police recorded crime series. Following the review of offence classifications (see ‘Introduction’ for more information), it was decided it would be more coherent to move the Action Fraud offences (recorded in accordance with the HOCR) into the main police recorded crime series. Thus, Table 21 is now based solely on data reported to the NFIB from industry sources.

In addition to the offences recorded by Action Fraud, the NFIB received 309,880 reports of fraud in the UK in the year ending December 2013 from industry bodies (Table 21). Of the fraud offences reported by those bodies, 87% were in the category of ‘banking and credit industry fraud’ (268,593). This category includes fraud involving plastic cards, cheques and online bank accounts which accounted for the majority of the offences recorded in the year ending December 2013. The category also covers payment-related frauds under the sub-category ‘Application Fraud’ which includes offences that occurred outside of the banking sector; for example, fraudulent applications made in relation to hire purchase agreements, as well as to insurance, telecommunications or retail companies, or public sector organisations.

It is possible that there may be some double counting between these sources and the offences recorded via direct reports from victims to Action Fraud (for example a member of the public who reports experiencing plastic card fraud to Action Fraud). ONS are seeking to quantify the extent to which this happens and will provide further information in due course.

Plastic card fraud

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 (although plastic card fraud theft itself is not included in the main CSEW crime count). The year ending December 2013 CSEW showed that 4.9% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, with no statistically significant difference from the 4.6% estimated in the year ending December 2012. The level of plastic card fraud is at a similar level to that measured five years ago in the 2007/08 survey. The general trend follows a rise in plastic card fraud from the 2006/07 survey through to the 2008/09 survey, which corresponds to industry source losses as described below (Figure 16). Despite the decrease shown since 2009/10, the current level of victimisation remains higher than more established acquisitive offences such as theft from the person and other theft of personal property (1.1% and 1.8% respectively, Table 15). Further analysis, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, was published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on Property Crime: Chapter 3 Plastic card fraud’.

Separate figures are available from the UK Cards Association who report on levels of financial fraud losses on UK cards. This totalled £388 million in 2012, a 14% increase compared with 2011 (£341m). Despite the recent increase, significant decreases in recent years prior to this mean that card fraud losses are 36% lower than in 2008 (£610m) when losses were at their peak.

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.

Figure 16: 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 2013

Figure 16: 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 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics

 

Notes for Fraud

  1. For more information regarding the date when each police force transferred responsibility to Action Fraud see Section 5.4: Fraud of the User Guide.

Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

Since January 2009, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (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 and kept consistent in the 2012/13 survey. The changes to the questions and definitions used in the first three years of the survey should be borne in mind when interpreting the figures. While data presented over the two most recent years should be comparable, it is difficult to discern a trend as the total number of incidents has varied across the available time series. For this reason no percentage change or statistical significance is presented for any year. Methodological differences also mean that direct comparisons cannot be made between the adult and child data (Millard and Flatley).

The numbers of incidents estimated for the four years of the survey 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 measures 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 2013, there were an estimated 762,000 crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 using the preferred measure; of these 57% were categorised as violent crimes1 (435,000) while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (273,000; 36%). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (54,000; 7% of all crimes). The proportions of violent, personal property theft and vandalism crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 are similar to the previous year (55%, 40% and 5% respectively).

Twelve per cent of children aged 10 to 15 have been recorded as a victim of a crime covered by the CSEW in the past year. Of these, this includes 7% who have been a victim of a violent crime and 6% who had been a victim of personal theft (Tables 22 to 24). While there were more violent incidents than theft offences, violent incidents affected a similar proportion of 10 to 15 year olds as seen for theft offences. This is because they were more likely to have been repeated against the same victim.

Violent offences – Preferred measure

The CSEW estimates that there were 435,000 violent offences against children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending December 2013 with just over two thirds (68%) of these resulting in injury to the victim. Although not directly comparable (due to methodological differences), 53% of violent incidents among adults aged 16 or over resulted in injury to the victim (Table 5a).

Seven per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had experienced violent crime in the last year; and 5% had experienced violence with injury (Table 23a). Less than 1% of children aged 10 to 15 were victims of robbery in the last year.

Property offences – Preferred measure

There were an estimated 273,000 incidents of theft and 54,000 incidents of damage of personal property experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending December 2013 according to the CSEW. Around 72% of the thefts were classified as other theft of personal property (195,000 incidents) which includes thefts of property left unattended.

Six 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 (4%). Theft from the person (for example, pick-pocketing) was not as common, with less than 1% of children reporting being victimised. One per cent of children had experienced vandalism to personal property.

 

 

Notes for Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

  1. The children aged 10 to 15 survey only covers personal level crime (so excludes household level crime); the majority (over 70%) of violent crimes experienced in the year ending December 2013 resulted in minor or no injury, so in most cases the violence is low level.

Anti-social behaviour

Incidents recorded by the police

Figures recorded by the police 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. Any incident of anti-social behaviour which results in a notifiable offence will be included in police recorded crime figures and as such the two sets of data do not overlap.

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. These figures are not currently accredited National Statistics. In particular, a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2012 found significant variation in the recording of ASB incidents across police forces. 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.

Following the HMIC review in 2012, it was additionally found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB1. HMIC found instances of:

  • forces failing to identify crimes, instead wrongly recording them as ASB;

  • reported ASB not being recorded on force systems, for instance if the victim had reported it directly to the neighbourhood team or via email (as opposed to by telephone);

  • reported ASB being recorded as something else, such as suspicious behaviour; and

  • incidents that were not ASB being recorded as ASB.

Furthermore, data on ASB incidents before and after 2011/12 are not directly comparable, owing to a change in the classification used for ASB incidents. From April 2012 ASB incidents also include data from the British Transport Police so comparisons with the latest two years can only be made with the British Transport Police figures excluded.

The police recorded 2.2 million incidents of ASB in the year ending December 2013. This compares to the 3.7 million notifiable crimes recorded by the police over the same period (Figure 17). Excluding the incidents recorded by the British Transport Police, the number of ASB incidents in the year ending December 2013 decreased by 7% compared with the previous year.

Figures for the period 2007/08 to 2010/11 also show declines in the number of ASB incidents recorded by the police consistent with recent trends in total police recorded crime.

 

Figure 17: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending December 2013

Figure 17: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office; ASB incidents: 2007/08 – 2009/10, National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA); 2010/11, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC); from 2011/12 onwards, Home Office
  2. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
  3. ASB data are not accredited National Statistics.
  4. Following a different approach to recording anti-social behaviour incidents data, figures for 2011/12 and 2012/13 are not directly comparable with previous years; see Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information.
  5. Figures include British Transport Police.
  6. British Transport Police figures are not available prior to April 2012.

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.

All forces adopted these new definitions, though in the HMIC report it was found that 35% of all incidents reviewed were considered to be incorrectly categorised. This should be kept in mind when considering ASB incident figures.

In the year ending December 2013, 66% of the ASB incidents categorised by the police were identified as ‘Nuisance’; 28% as ‘Personal’; and 6% as ‘Environmental’ (Figure 18). This distribution may reflect propensity of reporting rather than the actual distribution of ASB by type.

Figure 18: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending December 2013

Figure 18: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending December 2013

Notes:

  1. Source: Home Office.
  2. ASB data are not accredited National Statistics.
  3. Figures include British Transport Police.

CSEW measures of perceived anti-social behaviour

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (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 2013 CSEW, 12% of adults perceived there to be a high level of ASB in their local area, a decrease of two percentage points from the previous year (Table 25). Compared with the previous year, the year to December 2013 CSEW showed decreases in the proportions of adults perceiving problems in four types of ASB: ‘Teenagers hanging around on the streets’; ‘People being drunk or rowdy in public places’; ‘Vandalism, graffiti, and other deliberate damage to property’; and ‘Abandoned or burnt out cars’. The ‘Rubbish and litter lying around’, ‘People using or dealing drugs’ and ‘Noisy neighbours and loud parties’ categories all showed non-statistically significant decreases.

Since 2007/08 the CSEW has consistently estimated that around a quarter of adults perceive ‘People being drunk or rowdy’ as a problem in the local area, although the latest data show a decrease to 19%. The most pronounced decline has been for the ‘Abandoned or burnt-out cars’ category, which peaked at 25% in 2002/03 and has subsequently fallen each year down to 2% in the year ending December 2013. ‘Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property’ has also seen large decreases over time, from 35% in 2002/03 to 17% in the year ending December 2013. More recently, ‘Teenagers hanging around on the street’ has also seen a large decrease, from 33% in 2002/03 to 20% in the year ending December 2013. The reduction in these three anti-social behaviour categories has been the main driver behind the overall reduction in the composite measure over time (Table 25).

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

Twenty-eight per cent of adults in the year ending December 2013 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), down from 29% in the year ending December 2012 (although not a statistically significant fall). This included 9% of adults who experienced or witnessed drink related anti-social behaviour and 9% who witnessed or experienced groups hanging around on the streets.

It is difficult to directly compare the two CSEW measures (perceptions of and experiences of ASB) since the list of ASB categories used in the experience-based questions 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 perceived extent and seriousness of a problem will also vary from person to person.

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. See the HMIC report: ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’ for further details.

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. Offences dealt with at magistrates courts may also include some offences that have been identified by other agencies – for example, prosecutions by TV Licensing or by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (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 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime statistics.

The most recent data available on non-notifiable crimes are for the year ending September 2013. Key findings include the following:

  • Cases brought to magistrates’ courts in the year ending September 2013 resulted in 1.0 million convicted non-notifiable offences, down 4% from the year ending September 2012 and continuing the downward trend since 2002/03 (Tables 27a and 27b)2; and

  • 35,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued for non-notifiable offences in the year ending September 2013 (Table 27a). Four in five of these were for being drunk and disorderly3.

The police and, increasingly, local authorities, have powers to issue penalty notices for a range of traffic offences; the police issued 1.3 million Fixed Penalty Notices (over half of which related to speeding) in 20124.

 

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 Ministry of Justice (MoJ) relate to the year ending September 2013 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 2013 in May 2014.
  3. Figures from the MoJ’s Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to September 2013 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3).
  4. Figures from the Home Office’s Police Powers and Procedures 2012/13 publication.

Commercial Victimisation Survey

In order to address the significant gap in crime statistics that existed for crimes against businesses, the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011), recommended the Home Office continue to implement its plans for a telephone survey of businesses. The 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides information on the volume and type of crime committed against businesses in England and Wales across four sectors: ‘manufacturing’; ‘wholesale and retail’; ‘transportation and storage’; and ‘accommodation and food’. For more information, see the Home Office’s ‘Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’. The 2013 CVS covers a slightly different set of business sectors; it continues to include the ‘accommodation and food’, and ‘wholesale and retail’ sectors, but the ‘manufacturing’ and ‘transportation and storage’ sectors have been replaced by the ‘agriculture’ and the ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ sectors. For more information, see the Home Office’s ‘Headline findings from the 2013 Commercial Victimisation Survey’. The CVS is annual, not continuous. Headline figures for the number of crimes against businesses are included in this bulletin.

Combined estimates from the 2012 and 2013 CVS show that there were 7.3 million crimes against businesses in the six industry sectors covered by the two surveys. Thefts, for example shoplifting, were by far the most common type of crime experienced (5.1 million incidents), making up 70% of all incidents of crime against the six sectors.

Two out of every five (40%) premises in the six sectors covered by the 2012 and 2013 CVS had experienced at least one of the main crime types covered by the survey. Thefts were experienced by around one in five premises (20%).

Victimisation was more widespread in the ‘wholesale and retail’ premises and the ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ premises (45% of premises in each of these sectors had experienced crime in the year prior to interview) and less so in ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ and ‘manufacturing’ premises (30% of premises in each of these sectors had experienced crime in the year prior to interview).

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, 2014)1.

Strengths and limitations of the CSEW and police recorded crime

Crime Survey for England and Wales

Police recorded crime

Strengths

Strengths

Large nationally representative sample survey which provides a good measure of long-term trends for the crime types and the population it covers (that is, 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 to 15 resident in households

Independent collection of crime figures

 

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 (eg 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

Limitations

Limitations

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

Excludes crimes against businesses and those not resident in households (eg 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 (eg homicides, and drug offences)

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 (eg 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 2002/032

 

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. See Section 3.2 of the User Guide.

Future plans and changes to statistical reporting

Changes resulting from new 2011 Census population estimates

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics primarily from two key sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime. Both employ official population estimates in their construction. On 30 April 2013, the Office for National Statistics published sub national 2011 Census based population estimates for England and Wales for the period mid-2002 to mid-2010. The size of these revisions is small (464,000 or 0.83 per cent) in the context of the total population for England and Wales.

Police recorded crime rates used in this publication have been re-based in line with 2011 Census based population estimates from 2002/03, while CSEW estimates have remained on pre-2011 Census estimates. As the production and dissemination of revised CSEW estimates (and micro data with adjusted weights) would take longer to implement it was considered preferential to produce estimates on both bases rather than delay the publication of 2011 Census based police recorded crime figures. The original plan was to publish the first set of CSEW estimates using 2011 Census population totals in the January 2014 quarterly update, however, the population on which the CSEW figures are based were not available until October 2013, and unexpected data accuracy issues with the historic CSEW time series have also delayed the publication of these figures. CSEW estimates using 2011 Census population totals will now be published in the quarterly update for the survey year to March 2014 which will be published in July 2014. Micro datasets for the entire affected back-series will be published at a later date.

Changes to future CSEW estimates

The consultation on changes to the content of regular crime statistics outputs also proposed minor changes to the CSEW classifications (such as moving robbery out of violence into a separate standalone category to match its treatment in recorded crime). These have not yet been implemented as the programme of work to produce a back-series has been incorporated with a related work stream to produce revised survey weights following the release of 2011 Census-based population estimates, as mentioned previously. This will require the production of revised weights and key estimates for all survey years back to 2001/02.

 

International and UK comparisons

There are currently no recognised international standards for crime recording and international comparisons are limited due to the differing legal systems which underpin crime statistics and processes for collecting and recording crimes.

Crimes recorded by the police

The system for recording crime in England and Wales by the police is widely recognised by international standards to be one of the best in the world. Few other jurisdictions have attempted to develop such a standardised approach to crime recording and some of those that have base their approach on the England and Wales model (for example, Australia, Northern Ireland). Thus, it is difficult to make international comparisons of levels of recorded crime given the lack of consistency in definitions, legal systems and police/criminal justice recording practices.

The legal system in Northern Ireland is based on that of England and Wales and the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) has the same notifiable offence list for recorded crime as used in England and Wales. In addition, the PSNI has adopted the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime that applies in England and Wales. Thus there is broad comparability between the recorded crime statistics in Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

However, recorded crime statistics for England and Wales are not directly comparable with those in Scotland. The recorded crime statistics for Scotland are collected on the basis of the Scottish Crime Recording Standard, which was introduced in 2004. Like its counterpart in England and Wales, it aims to give consistency in crime recording. The main principles of the Scottish Crime Recording Standard itself are similar to the National Crime Recording Standard for England/Wales with regard to when a crime should be recorded.

However, there are differences between the respective counting rules. For example, the ‘Principal Crime Rule’ in England and Wales states that if a sequence of crimes in an incident, or alternatively a complex crime, contains more than one crime type, then the most serious crime should be counted. For example, an incident where an intruder breaks into a home and assaults the sole occupant would be recorded as two crimes in Scotland, while in England and Wales it would be recorded as one crime.

Differences in legislation and common law have also to be taken into account when comparing the crime statistics for England/Wales and Scotland.

Victimisation surveys

A number of countries run their own national victimisation surveys and they all broadly follow a similar model to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in attempting to obtain information from a representative sample of the population resident in households about their experience of criminal victimisation. The US National Crime and Victimisation Survey (NCVS) is the longest running, being established in 1973 and there are similar surveys in other countries including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand. However, while these surveys have a similar objective they are not conducted using a standard methodology. Sampling (frames and of households/individuals) and modes of interview (for example face to face interviewing, telephone interviewing, self-completion via the web) differ, as do the crime reference periods (last five years, last 12 months, last calendar year) over which respondents are asked about their victimisation experience. Similarly, there is a lack of standardisation in question wording and order. Response rates vary considerably across the world, as do methods to adjust for any resulting possible non-response bias; therefore, it becomes extremely difficult to make valid comparisons between the surveys.

There have been attempts in the past to run international surveys on a standard basis and the International Crime and Victimisation Survey (ICVS) was initiated by a group of European criminologists with expertise in national crime surveys. The survey aimed to produce estimates of victimisation that could be used for international comparisons. The first survey was run in 1989 and was repeated in 1992, 1996 and 2004/5. All surveys were based upon a 2,000 sample of the population, and in most countries, surveys were carried out with computer-assisted telephone interviewing. A pilot ICVS-2, intended to test alternative and cheaper modes of data collection including self-completion via the web, was carried out in a limited number of countries in 2010.

However, despite the attempt to obtain a standardised and comparable approach to all of the surveys, this was never successfully achieved. While a standard questionnaire was employed in all countries, alongside a standard mode of interviewing, important differences remained in the approach to sampling, translation of questions into different national languages, interview lengths and response rates which make comparisons problematic.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own separate victimisation surveys that, like the CSEW, complement their recorded crime figures.

The Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS) closely mirrors the format and content of the CSEW employing a very similar methodology with continuous interviewing, a face to face interview with nationally representative sample of adults (16 years and over) using a similar set of questions. Thus results from the two surveys are broadly comparable.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) also follows a similar format to the CSEW, having a shared antecedence in the British Crime Survey (whose sample during some rounds of the survey in the 1980s covered Scotland, south of the Caledonian Canal). There are differences in the crimes/offence classifications to reflect the differing legal systems but the results from the surveys are broadly comparable.

 

List of products

Release tables published alongside this commentary include a set of bulletin tables 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 below.

 

Type of information

CSEW crime estimates

Police recorded crime

Time series

File 2 (“Appendix tables”) Tables A1 – A3 ,

File 2 (“Appendix tables”), Table A4

 

Local area statistics

 

File 4

Quarterly figures

File 3 (“Quarterly data”)

File 3 (“Quarterly data”)

Perceptions of crime

File 5e and 5f

(“Open data tables”)

 

Detailed demographic data

Files 5a to 5f (“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. Guide to Finding Crime Statistics

  6. The 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales Technical Report Volume 1

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

  8. Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses

  9. Methodological note: Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales

  10. ‘Focus on Public Perceptions of Policing 2011/12’ (published 29 November 2012)

  11. ‘Short story on Anti Social Behaviour, 2011/12’ (published 11 April 2013)

  12. ‘Focus on Property Crime, 2012/13’ (published 28 November 2013)

  13. ‘An overview of hate crime in England and Wales’ (published 17 December 2013)

  14. ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’ (published 13 February 2014)

  15. 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

Crime Statistics for Scotland are available from the Scottish Government

Crime Statistics for Northern Ireland are available from the Police Service of Northern Ireland

References

Audit Commission, 2007, Police data quality 2006/07: Improving data quality to make places safer in England and Wales’

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

Department of Transport, 2014, ‘Vehicle licensing statistics, 2013’

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC), 2013, ‘Provisional Monthly Hospital Episode Statistics for Admitted Patient Care, Outpatients and Accident and Emergency Data – April 2012 to March 2013’

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

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

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2013a, ‘Crime recording in Kent – A report commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), 2013b, ‘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) and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), 2012, ‘Forging the links: Rape investigation and prosecution’

Home Affairs Committee, 2013 ‘Counter Terrorism: Evidence heard in Public Questions 234-397’

Home Office, 2012, ‘Guidance on the offence of buying scrap metal for cash’

Home Office, 2013a, ‘Crimes against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’

Home Office, 2013b, ‘Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2012 to 2013 Crime Survey for England and Wales’

Home Office, 2013c, ‘Metal theft, England and Wales, financial year ending March 2013’

Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Office for National Statistics, 2013, ‘An overview of sexual offending in England and Wales’

Home Office, 2014, ‘Police powers and procedures England and Wales 2012/13’

Millard, B. and Flatley, J. (Eds), ‘Experimental statistics on victimisation of children aged 10 to 15: Findings from the British Crime Survey for the year ending December 2009’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/11

Ministry of Justice, 2014, ‘Criminal justice statistics quarterly update to September 2013’

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 2014a, ‘Sexual abuse of under 11s: reports to police rise 16% in 2012-13’

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 2014b, ‘Would they actually have believed me?’

National Statistician, 2011, ‘National Statistician’s Review of crime statistics for England and Wales’

Nottingham Post, 2013, ‘Nottingham Co-op stores to get tough on shoplifters’

Office for National Statistics, 2012, ‘Trends in crime – A short story 2011/12’

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

Office for National Statistics, 2013b, ‘Crime Statistics, period ending June 2013’

Office for National Statistics, 2013c, ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2013d, ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2012/13’

Office for National Statistics, 2013e, ‘Future dissemination strategy: Summary of responses’

Office for National Statistics, 2013f, ‘Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime implemented in ‘Crime in England and Wales, year ending March 2013’

Office for National Statistics, 2013g, ‘Short Story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12’

Office for National Statistics, 2014a, ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13’

Office for National Statistics, 2014b, ‘User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2013, ‘Crime Statistics, HC760: Evidence heard, Questions 1-135’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2014a, ‘Caught red handed: Why we can’t count on police recorded crime statistics’

Public Administration Select Committee, 2014b, ‘Crime Statistics, HC760: Evidence heard, Questions 284-462’

Sivarajasingam, V., Wells, J.P., Moore, S., Page, N. and Shepherd, J.P., 2014, ‘Violence in England and Wales in 2013: An Accident and Emergency Perspective’

Smith, K., Osborne, S., Lau, I. and Britton, A., 2012, ‘Homicides, firearm offences and intimate violence 2010 to 2011: supplementary volume 2 to crime in England and Wales 2010/11’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 2011/12

TNS BMRB, 2013, ‘The 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales: Technical Report, Volume One’

UK Cards Association, 2012, ‘Plastic fraud figures’

UK Statistics Authority, 2014, ‘Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics: Statistics on Crime in England and Wales’

 

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. Next quarterly publication: July 2014.

    Future thematic report due to be published:

    Focus on Victimisation and Public Perceptions: Findings from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales and Police Recorded Crime: May 2014

    Follow us on Twitter or join us at Facebook. 

    View the latest podcasts.

     

    Media contact:

    Tel: Luke Croydon  0845 6041858

    Emergency on-call  07867 906553

    Email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    Statistical contact:

    Contact Name   John Flatley

    Tel: +44 (0)207 592 8695

    Email: crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    Website: www.ons.gov.uk

  4. Details of 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 this statistical bulletin as a National Statistics output, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;

    • are well explained and readily accessible;

    • are produced according to sound methods; and

    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

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

    However, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. 

    Copyright

    © Crown copyright 2014

    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

  5. Pre-release access list: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending December 2013

  6. 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:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

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

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
John Flatley +44 (0)20 75928695 ONS crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.