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Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending June 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 17 October 2013 Download PDF

Key points

  • Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate that there were 8.5 million crimes experienced by households and resident adults in the previous 12 months, based on interviews with a nationally representative sample in the year ending June 2013. In addition, the CSEW also estimated that there were 0.8 million crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 resident in the household population.
  • The headline estimate for crimes against households and resident adults was down 7% compared with the previous year’s survey. This is the lowest over the history of the survey, which began in 1981, and is now less than half its peak level in 1995.
  • The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending June 2013, a decrease of 5% compared with the previous year. This is the lowest comparative level since 2002/03 when the National Crime Recording Standard was introduced to bring greater consistency to crime recording.
  • Victim-based crime accounted for 83% of all police recorded crime (3.1 million offences) and fell by 6% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year.
  • Other crimes against society recorded by the police (400,156) showed a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year.
  • In the year ending June 2013, 230,335 fraud offences were recorded. This represents a volume increase of 21% compared with the previous year and should be seen in the context of a move towards the centralised recording of fraud by the police.
  • Within victim-based crime, there were decreases across all the main categories of recorded crime compared with the previous year, except for theft from the person (up 8%), shoplifting (up 1%) and sexual offences (up 9%). The latter increase is thought to be partly a ‘Yewtree effect’, whereby greater numbers of victims have come forward to report historical sexual offences to the police.
  • There were an additional 1.0 million offences dealt with by the courts in the year ending March 2013 (the latest period for which data are available), which are not included in the police recorded crime figures. These cover less serious crimes, such as speeding offences, which are dealt with no higher than magistrates courts.

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.

Coverage and coherence

The CSEW and recorded crime provide generally good coverage of crime committed against the public, particularly for offences involving physical harm, loss or damage to property. Together they provide a more comprehensive picture than could be obtained from either series alone. However, neither the CSEW nor police recorded crime aim to provide complete counts of crime, and there are exclusions from both series.

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 List , 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 bye-laws) such as littering, begging and drunkenness. Other non-notifiable offences include driving under the influence of alcohol, parking offences and TV licence evasion. These 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 (for example residents of institutions and tourists) 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. As well as the main police recorded crime series, there are additional collections covering knife crime and firearm offences, which are too low in volume to be measured reliably by the CSEW.

The CSEW covers a narrower range of offences included in the police recorded crime collection, but reported volumes are higher as the survey is able to capture all offences experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to the police and recorded.

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 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 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 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 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 ONS in April 2012.

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 a 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.

There are other acknowledged methodological limitations of the survey. Being based on a sample of the population, 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’); crimes that did occur in the reference period may not have been 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’).

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.

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 Commercial Victimisation Survey (a nationally representative sample of business premises in four 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

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

Time periods covered

The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) figures presented in this release are based on interviews conducted between July 2012 and June 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 July 2012 reporting on crimes experienced between July 2011 and June 2012 and those interviewed in June 2013 reporting on crimes taking place between June 2012 and May 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 June 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 6 September 2013.

Nine months of the data reported here overlap with the data contained in the previous bulletin and 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 month period ending June 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); the year ending March 2003 (approximately ten years ago); and in addition for the CSEW the year ending December 1995 (the peak of CSEW crime, when the survey was conducted on a calendar year basis). Appendix Tables A1 to A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) published together with the tables in this release show the fuller time series.

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 95 per cent 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 and these can be found in section 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 which 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”.

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 in the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (2011), HMIC carried out a review of police crime and incident reports in all forces in England and Wales during 2011 (HMIC, 2012) and they plan a national inspection of Crime Data integrity during 2013/14 which will report later in 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 thefts and robbery figures they had been transposed).

Recent 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 the previous bulletin (released in July 2013). 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.

There were also a number of changes to the presentation of fraud in the previous quarterly bulletin. 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 over the responsibility for the central police recording of fraud offences.

Over the last couple of years, 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 will gradually diminish (and that by Action Fraud will grow) as forces complete the switch over during 2012/13. It will not be until July 2014, when figures are presented for the 2013/14 financial year, 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.

As part of the changes to the presentation of police recorded crime, it was decided to move the offence of ‘Making off without payment’ from the overall category of fraud to theft. Previously such offences were recorded within ‘Preserved other fraud and repealed fraud offences’ though not separately identifiable from other offences within the same category. From April 2013, police forces have been separately recording ‘Making off without payment’ and this will now appear in the ‘All other theft offences’ category of police recorded crime. In this bulletin the figures for ‘Making off without payment’ in the 12 months ending June 2013 only cover offences recorded in the last quarter (that is, for April to June 2013) and those for the preceding nine months (July 2012 to March 2013), and for preceding time periods, remain within the fraud category.

Users should be aware that this currently makes comparisons over time of the subcategories of ‘All other theft offences’ and ‘Preserved other fraud and repealed fraud offences’ problematic. In the context of the volume of the overall theft offences and overall fraud offences the impact of this is much less problematic and the subsequent movement of ‘Making off without payment’ between these categories will not change the big picture.

Future changes

ONS have requested an ad hoc collection from forces on the number of ‘Making off without payment’ offences so that the necessary adjustments can be made to both the theft and fraud categories and a time series can be produced back to 2002/03. This work is ongoing and ONS hope to have revised figures available by the time of our next release.

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 the presentation of 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. New CSEW crime classifications are expected to be published early next year alongside the April 2014 bulletin. This is a slight revision to the original plan which was to publish in January 2014.

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.

Notes for Recent changes in presentation

  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.

Summary

Current level of crime – CSEW

Latest figures from the CSEW show that there were an estimated 8.5 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending June 20131. This represents a 7% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey. This latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to be 15% lower than the 2007/08 survey, and is now less than half its peak level in 19952 (Figure 1).

The CSEW also estimates 0.8 million crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending June 2013 resident in the household population. Of this number, 55% were violent crimes (471,000), while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (336,000). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (43,000 crimes; Tables 22 to 24).

Current level of crime – Police recorded crime and other sources of crime statistics

The police recorded3 3.7 million offences in the year ending June 2013, a decrease of 5% compared with the previous year (Table 2). Police recorded crime figures continue to show year-on-year reductions and the latest figures are 38% lower than 2002/03.

Victim-based crime (which accounts for 83% of all police recorded crime) fell by 6% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. Other crimes against society showed a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year, with 400,156 offences recorded by the police. The police and Action Fraud together recorded 230,335 fraud offences in England and Wales, an increase of 21% compared with the previous year (Table 2). However, it is not clear the extent to which this reflects a genuine increase in such crimes and needs to be seen in the context of a move to the centralised recording of such offences.

Within police recorded crime there were decreases across most of the remaining categories compared with the previous year, except for theft from the person (up 8%) and sexual offences (9% increase) and shoplifting (up 1%).

In the year ending March 2013 (the latest period for which data are available) there were around 1 million convictions in magistrates courts for non-notifiable offences  (not covered in the recorded crime collection) and 39,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued in relation to non-notifiable offences 4 (Table 27a).

In addition to the notifiable offences recorded by the police, around 2.2 million incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) were recorded by the police for the year ending June 20135. Excluding incidents recorded by the British Transport Police6, the number of ASB incidents in the year ending June 2013 decreased by 13% compared with the previous year. However, it should be noted that a HMIC review found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB. This suggests that trends in ASB incidents should be interpreted with caution (Figure 16).

The CSEW does not cover crimes against businesses and police recorded crime can only provide a partial picture. Figures from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (the latest data which are available) estimated that there were 9.2 million incidents of crime against businesses in England and Wales in the four sectors covered by the survey (wholesale and retail, manufacturing, accommodation and food, and transportation and storage) in the preceding 12 months. This equates to approximately 13 incidents of crime per business (Table 28). As with the CSEW, some of these crimes will appear within the police recorded crime series where the offence has been reported to the police and recorded by them.

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

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

Notes:

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

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Trends in victim-based crime – CSEW and police recorded crime

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

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

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

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Violence against the person offences recorded by the police showed a 3% fall compared with the previous year (Table 6b) and is at the lowest recorded level following the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03. This is equivalent to around 11 offences recorded per 1,000 population in the year ending June 2013 compared with 14 offences recorded per 1,000 population in 2007/08 (Table 6a). Violence against the person offences recorded by the police also show declines in: attempted murder which decreased by 4% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (down from 456 offences to 437 offences); and violence with injury, which decreased by 6% ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ). In the year ending June 2013 the police recorded 532 homicides7, 17 fewer than in the previous year (Table 6a). This should be seen in the context of the number of homicides having increased from around 300 per year in the early 1960s to over 800 per year in the early years of this century before falling to the current level8. The volume of homicides increased at a faster rate than the population did between the 1960s and the turn of the 21st century but has declined over the last decade while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow.

Firearm offences have fallen 8% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year, continuing the falls seen since their peak in 2005/06, while the number of selected offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument decreased by 12% over the same period.

Levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed no statistically significant change in the year ending June 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 in 1995 (Table 5a).

Police recorded robberies fell by 13% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. With the exception of a notable rise in the number of robberies in 2005/06 and 2006/07 there has been a general downward trend in these offences since 2002/03. The latest year shows the number of robbery offences falling to 62,364, equivalent to around 1 offence recorded per 1,000 population and the lowest level since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03 (Table 7). Robbery offences tend to be concentrated in a small number of metropolitan forces with more than half of all offences in England and Wales recorded in London. Thus the overall decrease has been driven by falls in the large metropolitan force areas, most notably the West Midlands (down by 1,175 offences; 18%), and the Metropolitan Police (down by 4,799 offences; 13%).

Sexual offences recorded by the police increased 9% in the year ending June 2013, to a total of 55,812 sexual offences across England and Wales. Within this, the number of offences of rape recorded by the police increased by 9%, while other sexual offences also increased by 9%.

There is evidence to suggest that these increases are partly a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation, connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry. Whilst 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”9 whereby there is increased willingness on the part of the victims to come forward and report historical sexual offences. 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.

Total theft offences recorded by the police in the year ending June 2013 showed a 5% decrease compared with the previous year, continuing the year-on-year decrease seen since 2002/03 (Table 2 and Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ). Almost all of the categories of theft in this offence group (burglary, vehicle offences, bicycle theft and all other theft offences) showed decreases compared with the previous year. The exceptions to this were theft from the person (which includes, for example, pick-pocketing) which rose by 8% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (from 101,361 offences to 109,718 offences) and shoplifting which increased by 1% compared with the previous year (from 304,408 offences to 307,652).

Overall household crime10 measured by the survey in the year ending June 2013 showed a statistically significant decrease of 8% compared with the previous year; a result of decreases in vandalism, burglary and vehicle-related theft. Across all three categories, levels are lower than those seen when the survey began in 1981 ( Appendix table A1 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

The CSEW category of vehicle-related theft showed an apparent decrease of 7% compared with the previous year, but this was not statistically significant. This should be seen in the context of a large reduction over the long-term with the latest estimate representing a decrease of 75% compared with 1995 (Table 13b). According to the latest survey, a vehicle-owning household was around four times less likely to be a victim of vehicle-related theft than in 1995 (5 in 100 households compared with 20 in 100 households in 1995). Police recorded crime figures also showed a fall of 5% in vehicle offences  compared with the previous year, continuing the downward trend seen over the last decade (down 64% compared with 2002/03; Tables 14a and 14b).

There was a 10% decrease in CSEW other household theft in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. However, it is still too early to say whether this represents a change in recent trends which have pointed upwards in recent years. Despite the latest decrease, the most current estimate remains 17% higher than the 2007/08 survey although this follows a period of reduction since the mid 1990s. Thus the latest estimate is 46% lower than in the 1995 survey.

CSEW vandalism, similarly to criminal damage offences recorded by the police, showed substantial decreases more recently than other offence types (from 2006/07 rather than 1995), and has contributed to the recent declining trends in both data series.

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

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. Responsibility for recording fraud offences transferred to Action Fraud from individual police forces between April 2011 and March 2013.

In the year ending June 2013, 230,335 fraud offences were recorded by the police or Action Fraud in England and Wales (Table 20a). This represents a volume increase of 21% compared with the previous year and an increase of 59% compared with 2007/08. Therefore, the reported 21% increase in the volume of fraud offences should be seen in the context of the introduction of a move to centralised recording of fraud, and the reclassification of making off without payment. As a result caution should be applied when comparing the latest fraud data with earlier years. For more details see the Fraud section.

Table 1: Number of CSEW incidents for year ending June 2013 and percentage change

England and Wales

    July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Jul-12 to Jun-131 Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
  Number of incidents (thousands), percentage change and significance2
Vandalism 1,730 -48 * -31 * -34 * -10 *
Burglary 655 -62 * -32 * -8 * -3  
Vehicle-related theft 1,053 -75 * -55 * -28 * -7  
Bicycle theft 423 -36 * 19   -1   -8  
Other household theft 1,201 -46 * -11 * 17 * -10 *
Household acquisitive crime 3,332 -62 * -33 * -8 * -8 *
ALL HOUSEHOLD CRIME 5,062 -58 * -33 * -19 * -8 *
Unweighted base - household crime 35,267                
Theft from the person 570 -16 * -17 * -2   -4  
Other theft of personal property 983 -52 * -27 * 0   -5  
All violence 1,891 -55 * -30 * -14 * -5  
       with injury 1,047 -57 * -27 * -2   2  
       without injury 844 -52 * -34 * -26 * -11  
Personal acquisitive crime 1,725 -44 * -26 * -8 * -8  
ALL PERSONAL CRIME 3,444 -50 * -27 * -9 * -4  
Unweighted base - personal crime 35,303                
ALL CSEW CRIME 8,507 -55 * -31 * -15 * -7 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Base sizes for data year ending June 2013 are smaller than previous years, due to sample size reductions introduced in April 2012.

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

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

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

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Table 2: Number of recorded crimes for year ending June 2013 and percentage change

England and Wales

Number and percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
Offence group Jul-12 to Jun-13 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
       
VICTIM-BASED CRIME 3,090,198 -41 -28 -6
         
Violence against the person offences 598,273 -16 -20 -3
     Homicide 532 -49 -31 -3
     Violence with injury 309,624 -17 -32 -6
     Violence without injury 288,117 -14 -3 0
         
Sexual offences 55,812 -1 7 9
     Rape 17,061 39 35 9
     Other sexual offences 38,751 -13 -2 9
         
Robbery offences 62,364 -43 -26 -13
     Robbery of business property 6,074 -45 -34 -9
     Robbery of personal property 56,290 -43 -26 -13
         
Theft offences 1,848,472 -44 -21 -5
     Burglary 454,908 -49 -22 -7
     Domestic burglary 223,902 -49 -20 -6
     Non-domestic burglary 231,006 -49 -24 -8
         
     Vehicle offences 383,723 -64 -42 -5
     Theft of a motor vehicle 77,583 -76 -54 -12
     Theft from a vehicle 284,205 -57 -34 -3
     Interfering with a motor vehicle 21,935 -76 -59 -9
         
     Theft from the person 109,718 -26 8 8
     Bicycle theft 96,559 -1 -7 -11
     Shoplifting 307,652 -1 6 1
     All other theft offences2 495,912 -35 -19 -9
         
Criminal damage and arson 525,277 -53 -49 -12
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 400,156 3 -26 -8
Drug offences 206,626 44 -10 -7
     Trafficking of drugs 29,353 31 4 -5
     Possession of drugs 177,273 47 -12 -8
Possession of weapons offences 19,920 -45 -46 -11
Public order offences 130,878 1 -40 -10
Miscellaneous crimes against society  42,732 -46 -25 -4
TOTAL FRAUD OFFENCES 230,335 -26 59 21
TOTAL RECORDED CRIME - ALL OFFENCES INCLUDING FRAUD 3,720,689 -38 -25 -5

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police).
  2. All other theft offences now includes 11,322 offences of 'making off without payment' recorded between April and June 2013. Making off without payment was previously included in fraud offences.     

  3. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. The process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013.  Due to this change, caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years. 

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Summary

  1. See section ‘Data Sources – further information’ for more details regarding the data sources and reasons for the differences in the number of crimes seen by each data source.
  2. See Trends in Crime – A short story 2011/12
  3. 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.
  4. Non-notifiable offences are offences dealt with exclusively by a magistrates court or by the police issuing of a Penalty Notice for Disorder or a Fixed Penalty Notice. Along with non-notifiable offences dealt with by the police (such as speeding), these include many offences that may be dealt with by other agencies – for example, prosecutions by TV Licensing or by the DVLA for vehicle registration offences.
  5. ASB incidents recorded by the police are not accredited as National Statistics and are not subject to the same level of consistency and quality of recording as police recorded crime.
  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. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide. Figures from the Homicide Index for the time period April 2011 to March 2012, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes, were published on 7 February 2013.
  8. Figures 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.
  9. See HMIC’s 2013 report ‘Mistakes were made’
  10. CSEW household crime includes burglary and other household theft, vandalism, vehicle-related theft incidents and bicycle theft.

Overall level of crime

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

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

The CSEW estimates that there were 8.5 million incidents of crime covered by the survey for the year ending June 2013, a 7% decrease compared with the previous year (Tables 3a and 3b). This latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981. The level of incidents in the year ending June 2013 survey is now 15% lower than that of the 2007/08 survey. CSEW estimates of crime have more than halved since peak levels in 1995, representing 10.6 million fewer crimes (Table 3a).

This does not translate into number of victims as some people experience multiple crimes. Victimisation rates are given in relevant tables within this statistical bulletin.

The overall level of police recorded crime3 decreased by 5% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. This decrease has continued to follow the year-on-year pattern of reductions seen in recent years (Figure 3). There were 3.7 million offences recorded in the year ending June 2013, the lowest number of offences since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03. The latest number of offences recorded was 25% lower than 2007/08 and 38% lower than 2002/03 (Tables 4a and 4b).

There were 3.1 million victim-based crimes4 recorded by the police in the year ending June 2013.  To put this volume in context, this is equivalent to a rate of 55 recorded offences per 1,000 population (though this should not be read as a victimisation rate as some offences will be reported by the same victim). The volume of victim-based crime was down 6% compared with the previous year (Table 4a and 4b). This overall grouping accounted for 83% of all crime recorded by the police 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).

‘Other crimes against society’5 showed a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year, with 400,156 offences. Trends in such offences tend to reflect changes in police workload and activity rather than in 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 offences 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 the year ending June 2013, 230,335 fraud offences were recorded by the police and Action Fraud in England and Wales (Table 20a). This represents an increase of 21% compared with the previous year and an increase of 59% compared with 2007/08. This increase should be seen in the context of a move to centralised recording of fraud and the reclassification of making off without payment. Caution should be applied when comparing latest fraud data with earlier years. See the Fraud section for more detail.

Figure 3 shows the time-series for both data sources. CSEW crime rose steadily from 1981 to 1991, before peaking in 1995. Subsequently, the CSEW showed marked falls up to the 2004/05 survey. Since then, the overall reduction has continued but at a slower rate, with some years showing small non-significant year-on-year changes and others statistically significant changes.

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

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

Notes:

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

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Police recorded crime also increased during most of the 1980s, reaching a peak in 1992, and then fell each year until 1998/99 when the expanded coverage and changes in the Home Office Counting Rules resulted in an increase in recorded offences; see Chapter 3 of the User Guide. This was followed by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in April 2002 which led to a 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 the exception of some short term fluctuations in recent years.

ONS have conducted further analysis comparing trends for a broadly equivalent set of offence groups across 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 that 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 (33% compared with 17%). For more details see the Analysis of Variation in Crime trends methodological note. The ratio between police recorded crime and CSEW crime for the “comparable basket” of crimes for the latest survey year6 2012/13 is shown in Section 4.2 of the User Guide. This highlights that the changes in both series in the year to March 2013 were similar.

Table 3a: All CSEW crime - number of incidents

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
Total CSEW incidents (thousands) 19,109 12,260 10,002 9,123 8,507
Unweighted base 16,337 36,450 46,903 42,386 35,303

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
  Percentage change and significance1  
Total CSEW incidents -55 * -31 * -15 * -7 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Total recorded crime - all offences including fraud 5,974,960 4,952,277 3,915,130 3,720,689
     Victim-based crime 5,274,333 4,264,589 3,289,125 3,090,198
     Other crimes against society 387,821 542,656 434,998 400,156
     Total fraud offences 312,806 145,032 191,007 230,335
Rate per 1,000 population        
Total recorded crime - all offences including fraud 114 92 70 66
     Victim-based crime3 101 79 59 55
     Other crimes against society 7 10 8 7
     Total fraud offences 6 3 3 4

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Making off without payment for April to June 2013 is included in victim-based crime rather than fraud offences. This accounts for 11,322 offences.

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 4b: Total police recorded crime - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Total recorded crime - all offences including fraud -38 -25 -5
     Victim-based crime -41 -28 -6
     Other crimes against society 3 -26 -8
     Total fraud offences -26 59 21

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Notes for Overall level of crime

  1. Police recorded crime has wider offence coverage than the CSEW as, for example, police recorded crime includes crimes against businesses and non-residents (for example visitors or tourists), however, it does not include crimes that have not been reported to the police.
  2. See section Data Sources – further information: Strengths and limitations of the CSEW and police recorded crime.
  3. Police recorded crime includes all notifiable offences, which are those that could possibly be tried by a jury (these include some less serious offences, such as minor theft that would not usually be dealt with in this way) plus a few additional closely related offences, such as assault without injury.
  4. 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.
  5. ‘Other crimes against society’ covers offences without a direct victim, and includes drug offences, possession of weapon offences, public order offences and miscellaneous crimes against society.
  6. The Crime Survey year runs from April to March. The 2012/13 survey year is April 2012 to March 2013.

Violence

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

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in the levels of violence based on interviews in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (the apparent 5% decrease was not statistically significant) (Tables 5a and 5b). Figure 4 shows that this continues a general trend seen over the last decade where the CSEW has seen a sustained period of modest annual decreases (though often not large enough to be statistically significant year on year). However, the cumulative effect of these changes is statistically significant over the medium-term with the estimated number of violent incidents having decreased 14% between the 2007/08 survey and the year ending June 2013 survey (Table 5b). Latest CSEW estimates show there were 1.9 million violent incidents in England and Wales, which is similar to the level when the survey began in the early 1980s (Figure 4). Violent incidents constitute 22% of all CSEW crime in the latest survey, making them an important driver of overall CSEW trends.

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in the levels of violence without injury (the apparent 11% decrease was not statistically significant) based on interviews in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. This is a return to a more typical year-on-year change after an unusually large decrease reported in the year ending March 2013 bulletin. Overall the level of violence without injury has fallen by over a quarter (26%) compared with the 2007/08 and estimates from the year ending June 2013 are 52% lower than the 1995 survey.

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

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

Notes:

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

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Figure 4 shows steep increases in the number of violent incidents measured by the CSEW from the early 1980s to 1995. This was followed by a period of decreases, with the latest estimate being 14% lower than those observed from the 2007/08 survey, and 55% lower than the number estimated in 1995 (Table 5b). Putting these latest figures in context, around 3 in every 100 adults were a victim of violent crime in the last year, compared with around 5 in 100 adults in the 1995 survey (Table 5a). However, victimisation rates vary considerably across the population and by area and these are explored in our annual thematic reports2.

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

All of the figures presented refer to the new classification of violence against the person as introduced in the previous quarterly publication. For more detailed information on the changes to the classification, including its impact on long term trends, please see Methodological note: Presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales.

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

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
Number of incidents Thousands      
All CSEW violence 4,176 2,714 2,201 1,980 1,891
       with injury 2,408 1,441 1,063 1,028 1,047
       without injury 1,768 1,273 1,137 952 844
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults          
All CSEW violence 103 64 50              44              41
       with injury 59 34 24              23              23
       without injury 43 30 26              21              18
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage      
All CSEW violence 5.3 3.9 3.2 2.8 2.5
       with injury 3.2 2.2 1.7 1.6 1.4
       without injury 2.5 2.0 1.7 1.4 1.2
Unweighted base - personal crime 16,337 36,450 46,903      42,386      35,303

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

     July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:  
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance1  
All CSEW violence -55 * -30 * -14 * -5  
       with injury -57 * -27 * -2   2  
       without injury -52 * -34 * -26 * -11  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults                
All CSEW violence -60 * -36 * -17 * -5  
       with injury -61 * -33 * -5   1  
       without injury -57 * -39 * -29 * -12  
Percentage of adults who were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance1,2  
All CSEW violence -2.8 * -1.4 * -0.7 * -0.3 *
       with injury -1.8 * -0.8 * -0.3 * -0.1  
       without injury -1.3 * -0.8 * -0.5 * -0.2  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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The level of violence against the person3 recorded by the police in the year ending June 2013 showed a 3% fall compared with the previous year (Tables 6a and 6b) and is the lowest recorded following the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03. Offences of violence with injury decreased by 6%, while there was little change in the number of recorded violent offences involving no injury compared with the year ending June 2012. The latest levels of violence against the person have fallen by 20% from 2007/08 and by 16% 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 June 2013 (Table 6a).

In the year ending June 2013 the police recorded 532 homicides4, 17 fewer than in the previous year (Table 6a). This should be seen in the context of the number of homicides having increased from around 300 per year in the early 1960s to over 800 per year in the early years of this century before falling to the current level5.  The volume of homicides increased at a faster rate than the population did between the 1960s and the turn of the 21st century but has declined over the last decade while the population of England and Wales has continued to grow.

The number of attempted murders recorded by the police has also been declining over the last decade, with a 4% decrease in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (down from 456 to 437 offences). For more detailed information on trends and the circumstances of homicides recorded in the previous year (2011/12) see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.6

Separate research conducted by the Violence and Society Research Group at Cardiff University (Sivarajasingam et al., 2012) also 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 14% in serious violence-related attendances in 2012 compared with 2011. This pattern is consistent with the reductions in violent crime recorded by the police (see figure 1 of that publication). In addition, NHS data on assault admissions to hospitals in England show that for the 12 months to the end of March 2013  there were 32,983 hospital admissions for assault, a reduction of 15% compared with figures for the preceding 12 months.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Violence against the person offences 708,742 748,779 617,066 598,273
     Homicide2,3 1,047 775 549 532
     Violence against the person - with injury4 372,243 452,247 328,428 309,624
     Violence against the person - without injury5 335,452 295,757 288,089 288,117
Violence against the person rate per 1,000 population 14 14 11 11

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.

  3. The homicide figure for 2002/03 includes 172 homicides attributed to Harold Shipman in previous years but coming to light in the official inquiry in 2002.

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

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

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

  7. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 6b: Police recorded violence against the person - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Violence against the person offences -16 -20 -3
     Homicide2,3 -49 -31 -3
     Violence against the person - with injury4 -17 -32 -6
     Violence against the person - without injury5 -14 -3 0

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide.

  3. The homicide figure for 2002/03 includes 172 homicides attributed to Harold Shipman

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

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

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

  7. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Violence

  1. For more details see the ‘Future plans and changes to statistical reporting’ section or the ONS crime statistics publication ‘Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses’.
  2. For more information see Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences.
  3. 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.
  4. Homicide includes the offences of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide. Figures from the Homicide Index for the time period April 2011 to March 2012, which take account of further police investigations and court outcomes, were published on 7 February 2013.
  5. Figures 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.
  6. Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2012/13 will be published in February 2014.
  7. Based on the latest available Hospital Episode Statistics.

Robbery

Robbery is an offence in which force or the threat of force is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft. The small number of robbery victims interviewed in any one year means that CSEW estimates are prone to fluctuation. The number of robberies recorded by the police therefore provides a more robust indication of trends than the CSEW, although some under-reporting by members of the public exists. For CSEW estimates of robbery see Appendix tables A1, A2 and A3 (438 Kb Excel sheet) .

Robbery is a relatively low volume offence accounting for just under 2% of all police recorded crime in the year ending June 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 (152.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

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

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

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The latest figures show police recorded robberies decreased by 13% in the year ending June 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 62,364, the lowest level since the introduction of the NCRS in 2002/03 (Figure 5).

In the year ending June 2013, 90% of robberies recorded by the police were of personal property. The police recorded 56,290 of these offences, down 13% compared with the previous year. Robbery of business property (which makes up the remaining 10% of total robbery offences) fell by 9% compared with the previous year continuing the recent downward trend. In the year ending June 2013, one in five (21%) robberies recorded by the police involved a knife or other sharp instrument, a similar level to the 22% recorded the previous year (Table 8).

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Robbery offences 110,271 84,773 71,435 62,364
     Robbery of business property 11,066 9,173 6,651 6,074
     Robbery of personal property 99,205 75,600 64,784 56,290
Robbery rate per 1,000 population 2 2 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 7b: Police recorded robbery - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Robbery offences -43 -26 -13
     Robbery of business property -45 -34 -9
     Robbery of personal property -43 -26 -13

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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The geographic concentration of robbery offences means that trends across England and Wales tend to reflect what is happening in a small number of metropolitan areas, and the Metropolitan Police force area in particular. The latest figures for the Metropolitan Police force area showed that robbery levels for the year ending June 2013 were down by 13% from the previous year. 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 were also seen in other large metropolitan police force areas, most notably the West Midlands (down by 1,175 offences; 18%), West Yorkshire (down by 431 offences; 18%) and Greater Manchester (down by 155 offences; 4%) ( Table P2 (152.5 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

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

In the year ending June 2013, the police recorded 26,010 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a 12% decrease compared with the previous year (29,700, Table 8). Analysis of selected individual offence groups shows that the fall in knife or sharp instrument offences is largely due to reductions in the numbers of robbery offences involving a knife or sharp instrument (down 17% compared with the previous year) and actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm offences3 (down 8%); a pattern that is consistent with the overall reductions in these offences.

The number of homicides involving a knife or sharp instrument decreased 9% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (down from 207 offences to 189 offences). The number of rapes involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police was also down by 7% from 212 offences to 197. The number of sexual assaults involving a knife or sharp instrument increased by 24% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (up from 71 offences to 88 offences). However, the relatively low number of attempted murders, homicides, rapes and sexual assaults that involve the use of a knife or sharp instrument means percentage changes should be interpreted with caution.

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

England and Wales

Numbers and percentages[3]
Selected offence type   Number of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument   % change year ending  June 2012 to year ending June 2013   Proportion of selected offences involving a knife or sharp instrument
  Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13     Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
                 
                 
Attempted murder   238 196   -18   52 45
Threats to kill   1,154 1,204   4   16 16
Actual bodily harm & grievous bodily harm4   12,326 11,339   -8   4 4
Robbery   15,492 12,797   -17   22 21
Rape   212 197   -7   1 1
Sexual assault5   71 88   24   0 0
                 
Total selected offences   29,493 25,821   -12   7 6
                 
Homicide6   207 189   -9   39 36
                 
Total selected offences including homicide   29,700 26,010   -12   7 6
                 

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. One police forces (Surrey) include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection. As such, data for this force are not directly comparable to data for other forces.

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

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

  6. Homicide offences are those currently recorded by the police as at 2 September 2013 and are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

  7. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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The proportion of selected violent offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending June 2013 was 6%. This was a similar proportion to that for the previous year (7%, Table 8). Just over a third of homicides (36%) and less than half of attempted murders (45%) involved a knife or sharp instrument, showing little change from the previous year.

An additional source of information about incidents involving serious violence is provided by NHS hospital admission statistics. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument peaked at 5,720 in 2006/07. Admissions have declined since that year, and in the year ending March 2013 there were 3,834 admissions, a 15% decrease on the previous year. Admissions for assault with a sharp instrument are now lower than those shown in 2002/034.

Notes for Offences involving knives and sharp instruments

  1. A sharp instrument is any object that pierces the skin (or in the case of a threat, is capable of piercing the skin) for example a broken bottle.
  2. West Midlands Police force included unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns but now exclude these offences in line with other forces.
  3. Changes to offence codes in April 2012 mean the individual categories of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm are not directly comparable over the time period. However, these changes are not expected to affect the totals of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. See Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) for more details.
  4. Year ending March 2013 provisional figures are available in the latest Hospital Episode Statistics; a graph based on financial years is available in ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.

Offences involving firearms

Provisional1 statistics for the year ending June 2013 are available for police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons (referred to as firearm offences). Firearms are taken to be involved in an offence if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat. For detailed information on trends and the circumstances of firearm offences recorded in 2011/12 see ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences’.

Figures for the year ending June 2013 show that 5,157 firearm offences were recorded in England and Wales, a 8% decrease on the previous year ( 5,629) (Tables 9a and 9b).

Figure 6 shows the trend from 2002/03 and demonstrates that since 2005/06 there has been a substantial decrease in the number of firearm offences recorded by the police. The volume of such offences has fallen by almost a half (48%) from 2007/08 (Table 9b), and decreased by more than a half (down by 53%) since its peak in 2005/06 (Figure 6). This reduction in firearm offences reflects a larger reduction than that seen in overall violent crime.

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded crimes involving firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

Figure 6: Trends in police recorded crimes involving firearms other than air weapons, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

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Table 9a: Police recorded firearm offences[2] - number of offences

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Firearm offences 10,248 9,865 5,629 5,157

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on data from all 43 forces in England and Wales (excluding the British Transport Police).

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

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

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 9b: Police recorded firearm offences[1] - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
   Apr-02 to Mar-03  Apr-07 to Mar-08  Jul-11 to Jun-12
Firearm offences -50 -48 -8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Offences involving firearms

  1. Firearms data are provisional figures supplied by the police as at 5 June 2013. Final figures for firearm offences for the time period April 2011 to March 2012 were published on 7 February 2013.

Sexual Offences

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

As described in the previous quarterly bulletin, tables summarising sexual offences now separate recorded crimes into categories of ‘Rape’ and ‘Other sexual offences’. The full breakdown of sexual offences can be found in Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) . For more information please see the Sexual Offences in England and Wales infographic published alongside the quarterly bulletin.

Police recorded crime figures showed an increase of 9% in all sexual offences for the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (up from 51,252 to 55,812, Table 10b). Within the total, both the volume of offences of rape and other sexual offences recorded increased by 9% (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

Figure 7: Trends in police recorded sexual offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

  1. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, introduced in May 2004, altered the definition and coverage of sexual offences.

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There is evidence to suggest that these increases are partly a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation, initiated in October 2012 and connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry. Whilst some of these increases will be a direct consequence of the crimes reported as part of Operation Yewtree there is also evidence to suggest that there has been a wider “Yewtree effect”1 whereby there is increased willingness on the part of the victims to come forward and report historical sexual offences that are not directly connected to Yewtree. Additionally the publicity surrounding Operation Yewtree may have encouraged more victims to come forward and report more recent abuse cases.

Some police forces supply detailed recorded crime data to the Home Office Data Hub, which shows when an offence took place, as well as when it was recorded. Analysis using this 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 nearly a fifth of all sexual offences recorded by the police in the year to June 2013. Therefore, this data is only able to provide a partial and provisional picture.

This partial picture suggests that the increase in sexual offences in the last year was driven by a rise in both the number of ‘historical’ sexual offences and in the number of 'current' sexual offences reported. This data showed that the number of sexual offences recorded by the police that occurred more than 20 years ago doubled.  However, as this category accounted for around a tenth of all sexual offences, this was not the only driver for the overall increase. There was also an increase of 5% 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. This category accounts for around two thirds of the total of sexual offences. The increase in reporting of sexual offences to the police is also mirrored by an increase in the number of serious sexual abuse incidents reported to the NSPCC helpline. The NSPCC have reported that they referred nearly 600 cases to police and social services in the month of June and July 2013 compared with 323 reports in the corresponding period the year before (a rise of 84%)2.

For more information please see the Sexual Offences in England and Wales infographic published alongside the quarterly bulletin.

These recent effects follow increases seen over the last five years with a 35% increase in the number of police recorded rape offences since 2007/08 (Table 10b). Extra guidance for the recording of sexual offences was incorporated into the Home Office Counting Rules from 1 April 2010 and this reflected good practice guidance issued prior to this by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). This is likely to have been a factor driving year-on-year increases seen in the number of sexual offences, in particular rape, recorded in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Sexual offences 56,652 52,166 51,252 55,812
     Rape 12,295 12,673 15,670 17,061
     Other sexual offences 44,357 39,493 35,582 38,751
Sexual offences rate per 1,000 population 1 1 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime

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Table 10b: Police recorded sexual offences - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Sexual offences -1 7 9
     Rape 39 35 9
     Other sexual offences -13 -2 9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Due to the small number of sexual offences identified in the main 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 here3. Detailed findings from this module for the previous year (year ending March 2012) are available in the ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2011/12’. Figures for the current year (2012/13) will be available in the next ‘Focus on: Violent Crime and Sexual offences’ release which is due to be published in February 2014.

Notes for Sexual Offences

  1. See HMIC’s 2013 report ‘Mistakes were made’.
  2. See NSPCC report ‘Sexual abuse calls increase to the NSPCC helpline’.
  3. See Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information regarding intimate violence.

Theft Offences

The CSEW and police recorded crime both measure theft offences. Both data series cover burglary, vehicle-related theft, theft from the person and bicycle theft. Additionally, offences for shoplifting and other theft, which is predominately made up of theft of unattended items, are recorded by the police. The CSEW also covers theft of property from outside people’s homes (for example garden furniture and tools) and theft of unattended property1.

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 Robbery section), whereas, for the CSEW, the figure for all acquisitive crime does include robbery incidents.

Theft offences accounted for half of all police recorded crime (1.8 million offences) in the year ending June 2013 and 59% of all incidents measured by the CSEW (an estimated 5.1 million incidents) for the year ending June 2013.

The long-term trend in CSEW theft (acquisitive crime) reflects the long-term trend in total CSEW crime, having shown steady increases from 1981 when the survey started, peaking in 1995, followed by steady declines since that peak. The latest estimates showed a non-statistically significant decrease of 8% compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A1 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

As theft offences make up half of all police recorded crime the trend for this group of offences is the same as the overall trend. Since 2002/03, the number of theft offences has shown year-on-year decreases and is 44% lower in volume in the year ending June 2013 than in 2002/03 (Figure 8). The latest figures show a 5% decrease compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

Figure 8: Trends in police recorded theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

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Further analysis on theft offences, based on the 2011/12 CSEW, was published on 9 May 2013 as part of ‘Focus on: Property Crime, 2011/122. 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 in more detail the different types of theft offences; burglary, vehicle-related thefts and other theft of property.

Notes for Theft Offences

  1. See Section 5.2 of the User Guide.
  2. Figures for the current year (2012/13) will be available in the next ‘Focus on: Property Crime’ release which is due to be published in November 2013.

Theft offences - Burglary

Despite some fluctuations from year to year, the underlying trend in domestic burglary has remained fairly flat in the CSEW since 2004/05 (Figure 9) and the apparent 3% fall in the year ending June 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 June 2013 are 8% lower than those in the 2007/08 CSEW (Table 11b).

As with the overall category of burglary, the apparent decreases in sub-categories of CSEW burglary were not statistically significant. CSEW burglary follows a similar pattern to that seen for overall crime, peaking in the 1993 survey and then falling steeply until the 2004/05 survey.

Figure 9: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Figure 9: Trends in CSEW domestic burglary, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

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

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Prior to 2004/05 there were notable declines in CSEW burglary, and estimates from the year ending June 2013 are 62% 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 June 2013 survey compared with around 6 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Households are thus now around three times less likely to be a victim of burglary than in 1995 (Table 11a).

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

England and Wales

Households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
  Thousands      
Number of burglary incidents 1,735 963 713 676 655
Burglary incidence rate per 1,000 households 84 44 31              29              27
  Percentage      
Percentage of households that were victims of burglary once or more 6.4 3.4 2.4 2.3 2.1
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 36,395 46,765      42,355      35,267

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

Households
       July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:  
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
  Percentage change and significance1  
Number of burglary incidents -62 * -32 * -8 * -3  
Burglary incidence rate per 1,000 households -67 * -38 * -13 * -4  
  Percentage point change and significance1,2  
Percentage of households that were victims of burglary once or more -4.3 * -1.2 * -0.3 * -0.1  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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Comparing the number of burglary offences recorded by the police in the year ending June 2013 with the previous year, domestic burglary decreased by 6% while non-domestic burglary1 decreased by 8% (Tables 12a and 12b). The latest level of burglary recorded by the police is around half the level recorded in 2002/03.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Burglary offences 890,099 583,710 488,724 454,908
     Domestic burglary 437,583 280,696 238,927 223,902
     Non-domestic burglary 452,516 303,014 249,797 231,006
Burglary rate per 1,000 population 17 11 9 8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 12b: Police recorded burglary - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Burglary offences -49 -22 -7
     Domestic burglary -49 -20 -6
     Non-domestic burglary -49 -24 -8

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Theft offences - Burglary

  1. 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

Estimates of CSEW vehicle-related theft1 for the year ending June 2013 showed an apparent decrease of 7% compared with the previous year, though this was not statistically significant (Table 13a and 13b). The latest estimate shows around 1.1 million vehicle-related thefts against the household population in England and Wales, with attempted thefts of, or from, vehicles showing a statistically significant decrease of 21% compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A1 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Over the longer term the CSEW indicates a consistent downward trend in levels of vehicle-related theft, with the latest estimates being 28% lower than those observed in the 2007/08 survey, and 55% lower than the 2002/03 survey. As shown in Figure 9, the rate of reduction in vehicle offences since the mid-1990s has been striking, and a widely accepted theory is that this is in part due to improvements in vehicle security2. The latest estimates indicate that a vehicle-owning household was around four times less likely to become a victim of vehicle-related theft in the year ending June 2013 survey than in 1995, with around 5 in 100 vehicle-owning households being victims in the year ending June 2013 survey compared with around 20 in 100 households in the 1995 survey (Table 13a).

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Figure 10: Trends in CSEW vehicle-related theft, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

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

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

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
  Thousands      
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents 4,266 2,340 1,457 1,134 1,053
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households 280 140 81              62              56
  Percentage      
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more 19.7 10.8 6.5 5.1 4.6
Unweighted base - vehicle owners 11,721 28,106 37,487      33,600      27,781

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

Vehicle-owning households
     July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:  
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
  Percentage change and significance1  
Number of vehicle-related theft incidents -75 * -55 * -28 * -7  
Vehicle-related theft incidence rate per 1,000 vehicle-owning households -80 * -60 * -31 * -8  
  Percentage point change and significance1,2  
Percentage of vehicle-owning households that were victims of vehicle-related theft once or more -15.1 * -6.1 * -1.8 * -0.5 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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The police recorded category of vehicles offences covers both private and commercial vehicles. This showed a fall of 5% in the year ending June 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 64% compared with 2002/03. These trends are similar to those found in the CSEW. The most recent data show that all three categories of police recorded offences against vehicles have continued to fall, including theft of a motor vehicle, which fell by 12% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) and Table 14b).

The reductions in vehicle-related theft indicated by the CSEW and police recorded crime is in contrast to the number of motor vehicles licensed in Great Britain, which has increased by 36% from 25.4 million in 1995 to 34.6 million on 31 March 2013 (Vehicle Licensing Statistics, 2013 3).

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Vehicle offences 1,074,659 656,453 405,727 383,723
     Theft of a motor vehicle 318,507 170,038 88,053 77,583
     Theft from a vehicle 663,679 432,412 293,647 284,205
     Vehicle interference 92,473 54,003 24,027 21,935
Offences against vehicles2 rate per 1,000 population  21 12 7 7

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

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

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 14b: Police recorded vehicle offences - percentage change

England and Wales

percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Vehicle offences -64 -42 -5
     Theft of a motor vehicle -76 -54 -12
     Theft from a vehicle -57 -34 -3
     Vehicle interference -76 -59 -9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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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. Vehicle Licensing Statistics quarter 1 2013 are 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 CSEW and police recorded crime both measure other theft of property. In the CSEW this comprises: theft from the person; other theft of personal property; bicycle theft; and other household theft. In police recorded crime this comprises: theft from the person, bicycle theft, shoplifting and all other theft offences, the more detailed offences are listed in Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) . Figure 11 shows trends in selected CSEW theft offences which are the subject of further discussion below. Incidents of theft experienced by 10 to 15 year olds can be found in the ‘Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15’ section of this bulletin.

As part of the re-classification work first implemented in the previous bulletin, theft from the person, bicycle theft and shoplifting are no longer included in the residual theft classification of ‘Other theft offences’ and are now presented separately. One further amendment introduced this quarter is the inclusion of ‘Making off without payment’ which from now on will be included in the ‘Other theft offence’ category. Prior to this publication ‘Making off without payment’ was recorded as fraud. In the year to June 2013 the police recorded 11,322 ‘Making off without payment’ offences; these offences were recorded between April 2013 and June 2013. (For more information, please see the ‘Recent changes in presentation’ section).

Theft from the person – CSEW and police recorded crime 

Offences of theft from the person involve the theft of property while it 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. The majority of these thefts (89% in the year ending June 2013 CSEW) are made up of stealth thefts where, at the time the offence was committed, the victim was unaware that the items were being stolen ( Appendix table A1 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

The CSEW showed no statistically significant change in theft from the person based on interviews in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (the apparent 4% 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 11). 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 police recorded crime figures show an 8% increase in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). To put the latest figures in context, this is 8% higher than in 2007/08 and 22% higher than in 2008/09 ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ). Despite this, falls occurring between 2002/03 and 2008/09 mean that the number of theft from the person offences recorded in the year ending June 2013 was 26% lower than in 2002/03.

Further analysis of theft from the person figures by police force area shows a mixed picture, with some forces showing increases for this offence and others decreases. However, as with robbery, theft from the person offences are concentrated in London, with 45% occurring in the Metropolitan Police force area. The overall increase in the year ending June 2013 is being driven by the Metropolitan Police force area where a 12% increase was recorded (43,581 to 48,904 offences) and by the British Transport Police, where a 22% increase was recorded (7,495 to 9,116 offences)1. There is evidence to suggest that this increase is partly driven by thefts of Smartphones.

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW theft from the person and other household theft, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Figure 11: Trends in CSEW theft from the person and other household theft, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

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

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Other household theft – CSEW

This offence group consists of items stolen from outside the victim’s home as well as burglaries from non-connected buildings, such as sheds, and thefts in the victim’s dwelling by someone entitled to be there, for example a workman2. Around half of these incidents involve theft of garden furniture or household items/furniture taken from outside the dwelling; these thefts are generally opportunistic in nature.

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending June 2013, it was estimated that there were around 1.2 million incidents of other household theft (Tables 15a and 15b) over this period, making up 14% of all CSEW crime. There was a statistically significant decrease of 10% in CSEW other household theft in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year. This follows the non-statistically significant decrease seen in the year ending March 2013; however, it is too early to say whether this represents a change in recent trends which have shown several years of non-statistically significant increases. Following these increases, and despite the recent decrease, the latest estimates remain 17% higher than the 2007/08 survey. However, this should be seen in the context of prior reductions; the latest figures being 46% lower than in the 1995 survey.

Other theft of personal property – CSEW

CSEW estimates indicate there were just under 1.0 million incidents of other theft of personal property in the survey year ending June 2013. These are theft offences which involve items stolen from victims while away from the home but not being carried on the person (such as theft of unattended property in pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues or workplaces). The apparent 5% decrease in other theft of personal property compared with the previous survey year was not statistically significant and the underlying trend has been fairly flat in recent years. Since 2004/05 estimates have fluctuated slightly but generally stayed around 1.0 million. Looking at the longer term trend, theft of other personal property saw marked declines from the mid-1990s and levels have halved compared with the 1995 CSEW ( Appendix table A1 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Bicycle theft – CSEW and police recorded crime

The apparent 8% decrease in bicycle theft incidents, based on CSEW interviews in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year, was not statistically significant (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 (438 Kb Excel sheet) suggests that, like other household theft, these incidents showed a marked decline between 1995 and the 2001/02 survey, with smaller increases thereafter, although the variability means that trends have to be interpreted with caution. The year ending June 2013 CSEW indicates that around 3% of bicycle owning households were victims of bicycle theft in the previous 12 months, similar to findings from the 2011/12 survey.

Bicycle thefts recorded by the police decreased by 11% in the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year (Tables 16a and 16b). This latest figure suggests an emerging downward trend after a period of relatively stable levels. The current level (96,559 offences) is the lowest since 2002/03 when the NCRS was first introduced.

Shoplifting – police recorded crime

Shoplifting accounts for 8% of all police recorded crime. The police recorded 307,652 shoplifting offences in the year ending June 2013, a 1% increase compared with the previous year. The volume of shoplifting offences has remained fairly stable since 2002/03.

The 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) showed that over half (53%) of crime incidents experienced by businesses in the retail and wholesale sector were shoplifting. The CVS records a much higher volume of this crime, with the number of incidents falling from 12.2 million in 2002 to 3.8 million in 2012. This may indicate that police recorded crime figures have underestimated the extent of the decline in this crime type. However, it should be noted that police recorded crime figures are highly dependent on whether the shops themselves apprehend suspects and/or subsequently involve the police, whereas the CVS data are not.

All other theft offences – police recorded crime

The most recent police recorded data showed a 9% decrease in all other theft offences from 495,912 offences in the year to June 2013 compared with 547,047 in the year to June 2012. This is despite the fact that the year to June 2013 data includes 11,322 Making off without payment offences recorded in period April to June 2013. The current decrease is in contrast with a recent upward trend in all other theft offences recorded by the police between 2009/10 and 2011/12, which followed a longer downward trend between 2003/04 and 2009/10 (Figure 12). This is equivalent to nine recorded offences per 1,000 population in the year ending June 2013, compared with 15 recorded offences per 1,000 population in 2002/03.

Figure 12: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

Figure 12: Trends in police recorded all other theft offences, 2002/03 to year ending June 2013

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The main driver of the decrease seen in the all other theft offences group in police recorded crime is a sub-category of crime comprised mainly of theft of unattended items (known as ‘Other theft’). This sub-category accounted for 83% of all other theft offences. The ‘Other theft’ offences in this sub-category involve theft of both unattended personal property (such as wallets and phones) and property from outside people’s homes (for example garden furniture and tools). There is some overlap with CSEW categories of other theft of personal property and other household theft.

This ‘Other theft’ sub-category also includes crimes against organisations which are not covered by the CSEW, such as theft of metal or industrial equipment. However, it is not possible to identify these specific types of theft in centrally held police recorded crime data. ‘Other theft’ offences saw a 13% decrease for the year ending June 2013 compared with the previous year ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) ). This follows a 13% increase between 2009/10 and 2011/12, which 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. Evidence3 suggests that such offences are decreasing and should be seen in the context of new metal theft legislation, as the decreases have been far greater than the fall off in prices suggesting that legislation has had an important extra impact. The legislation came into force in May 2013, which increases fines for existing offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964, and introduces a new offence for dealers of paying for scrap metal in cash.

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

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
Number of incidents Thousands      
Theft from the person 680 690 581 592 570
Other theft of personal property 2,069 1,344 988 1,030 983
Other household theft 2,223 1,346 1,030 1,335 1,201
Bicycle theft 660 355 429 459 423
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households          
Theft from the person 17 16 13              13              12
Other theft of personal property 51 32 23              23              22
Other household theft 107 61 45              56              50
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 71 38 42              38              33
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more Percentage      
Theft from the person 1.6 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.1
Other theft of personal property 4.1 2.8 2.0 2.0 1.9
Unweighted base - personal crime 16,337 36,450 46,903 42,386 35,303
Other household theft 7.6 4.7 3.5 4.4 3.9
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 36,395 46,765      42,355      35,267
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households 6.1 3.4 3.7 3.4 3.0
Unweighted base - bicycle owners 6,882 15,567 20,779      20,335      16,865

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over/households
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:  
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Number of incidents Percentage change and significance1  
Theft from the person -16 * -17 * -2   -4  
Other theft of personal property -52 * -27 * 0   -5  
Other household theft -46 * -11 * 17 * -10 *
Bicycle theft -36 * 19   -1   -8  
Incidence rate per 1,000 adults/households                
Theft from the person -25 * -24 * -6   -4  
Other theft of personal property -58 * -32 * -4   -5  
Other household theft -53 * -18 * 11 * -11 *
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -53 * -13 * -21 * -12  
Percentage of adults/households who were victims once or more Percentage point change and significance1,2  
Theft from the person -0.5 * -0.3 * -0.1   -0.1  
Other theft of personal property -2.2 * -0.9 * -0.1   -0.1  
Other household theft -3.7 * -0.7 * 0.5 * -0.4 *
Bicycle theft: bicycle-owning households -3.1 * -0.4   -0.7 * -0.4  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Theft from the person 148,488 101,660 101,361 109,718
Bicycle theft 97,755 104,000 107,997 96,559
Shoplifting 310,881 290,653 304,408 307,652
All other theft offences 762,314 612,357 547,047 495,912
Rate per 1,000 population        
Theft from the person 3 2 2 2
Bicycle theft 2 2 2 2
Shoplifting 6 5 5 5
All other theft offences 15 11 10 9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

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

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 16b: Police recorded other theft - percentage change

England and Wales

July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Theft from the person -26 8 8
Bicycle theft -1 -7 -11
Shoplifting -1 6 1
All other theft offences -35 -19 -9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. All other theft offences now includes 11,322 offences of 'making off without payment' recorded between April and June 2013. Making off without payment was previously included in fraud offences. 
  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Theft offences - Other theft of property

  1. Police recorded Police force area tables (152.5 Kb Excel sheet) for year ending June 13 & open data tables for year ending June 12
  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 example, Network rail have reported decreases in the number of incidents of cable theft affecting rail passengers between 2011/12 and 2012/13. Other media examples: Doncaster FreePress and The Westmoorland Gazette.

Vandalism and criminal damage

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending June 2013 there were around 1.7 million incidents of vandalism of personal and household property, a statistically significant decrease of 10% from the previous year (Tables 17a and 17b). Figure 13 shows the CSEW long-term trend for vandalism which has a different pattern compared with most other CSEW crime groups. Vandalism incidents peaked in 1993 at 3.4 million followed by a modest fall (when compared with other CSEW offence types) until the 2003/04 survey (2.4 million). This was followed by a short upward trend until the 2006/07 CSEW, after which there were some year on year falls, with levels dropping to the lowest level since the survey began.

Tables 17a and 17b show the recent downward trend in this offence group, with statistically significant decreases compared with both the 2007/08 and 2002/03 survey years. This downward trend in incidents is also reflected in the percentage of households victimised. Five in 100 households were victims of vandalism in the year ending June 2013 compared with around 10 in 100 households in 1995.

Figure 13: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Figure 13: Trends in CSEW vandalism, 1981 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

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

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

England and Wales

Households
  Interviews from:
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-131
  Thousands      
Number of vandalism incidents 3,300 2,508 2,604 1,917 1,730
Vandalism incidence rate per 1,000 households 159 114 114              81              72
  Percentage      
Percentage of households that were victims of vandalism once or more 10.1 7.3 7.3 5.5 5.0
Unweighted base - household crime 16,310 36,395 46,765      42,355      35,267

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

England and Wales

Households
     July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:  
  Jan-95 to Dec-95 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
  Percentage change and significance1  
Number of vandalism incidents -48 * -31 * -34 * -10 *
Vandalism incidence rate per 1,000 households -55 * -37 * -37 * -11 *
  Percentage point change and significance1,2  
Percentage of households that were victims of vandalism once or more -5.1 * -2.3 * -2.3 * -0.5 *

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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Police recorded crime also shows reductions in the similar offence group of criminal damage though this also includes victims beyond the household population (for example, businesses)1. In the year ending June 2013 there were 505,844 offences recorded, a fall of 11% from the previous year (Tables 18a and 18b). Reductions were seen within all types of criminal damage recorded by the police ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) )2. Criminal damage offences have seen a marked fall since 2006/07 whereas previously the pattern had been fairly flat since 2002/03.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Criminal damage and arson 1,114,472 1,030,038 594,108 525,277
     Arson 53,552 39,327 24,564 19,433
     Criminal damage 1,060,920 990,711 569,544 505,844
Criminal damage and arson rate per 1,000 population 21 19 11 9

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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

England and Wales

Percentage change
  July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Criminal damage and arson -53 -49 -12
     Arson -64 -51 -21
     Criminal damage -52 -49 -11

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for 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 June 2012 and June 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 recorded by the police refer to offences which do not generally have a specific identifiable victim. 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. Trends need to be interpreted in this light, and this is highlighted in the commentary where appropriate.

In the previous publication newly formed groups of offences were created as part of the re-classification work giving the following categories:

  • Drug offences

  • Possession of weapons offences

  • Public order offences

  • Miscellaneous crimes against society

As part of the continued reclassification work, miscellaneous crimes against society in this bulletin now include the offence ‘Making, supplying or possessing articles for use in fraud’. In previous publications this offence code was included in the fraud category.

The broad grouping of ‘Other crimes against society’ showed a decrease of 8% compared with the previous year with 400,156 offences recorded in the year ending June 2013 (Tables 19a and 19b). Figure 14 shows the trend over time and how each separate offence category contributes to the overall figure.

Since 2002/03, the number of these offences have increased year-on year to the peak 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 section below for further details). Possession of weapon offences have been declining over time.

Figure 14: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to the year ending June 2013

Figure 14: Trends in police recorded other crimes against society, 2002/03 to the year ending June 2013

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Drug offences

The police recorded 206,626 drug offences in the year ending June 2013, a decrease of 7% compared with the previous year. Figure 14 shows the trend over time for drug offences. The number of drug offences steadily rose from 2004/05 until 2008/09 where they peaked at 243,536 offences. They then remained fairly consistent at around 230,000 each year until the end of 2011/12 when they began to fall. Despite the recent decreases, the number of drug offences recorded in the year ending June 2013 remains 44% higher than the number recorded in 2002/03.

As mentioned above 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 crimes against society as the number of drug offences recorded by the police is heavily dependent on police activities and priorities. As a result, changes over time may reflect changes in the policing of drug crime rather than real changes in its incidence. In the last 10 years the police were given powers:

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

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

The CSEW can also be used to monitor trends in drug use and the figures are published annually1. The CSEW shows that overall illicit drug use among 16 to 59 year olds does not support the increase shown by police recorded drug offences between 2004/05 until 2008/09 as such a change is not observed.

In the year ending June 2013, as in the previous year, possession of cannabis offences accounted for 69% of all police recorded drug offences. For information from the CSEW on drug use see the Home Office’s 2012/13 ‘Drug Misuse publication’.

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 (e.g. actual bodily harm).

The police recorded 19,920 possession of weapon offences in the year ending June 2013, a decrease of 11% compared with the previous year. The number of possession of weapons offences rose from 2002/03 and peaked in 2004/05 and has since shown year-on-year decreases.

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 (130,878 offences) show a 10% decrease in public order offences compared with the previous year. The majority of this category (61% in the year ending June 2013) is made up of public fear, alarm or distress offences, which shows a 13% 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. As mentioned above these offence groups 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.

Miscellaneous crimes against society

Miscellaneous crimes against society comprises a variety of offences ( Appendix table A4 (438 Kb Excel sheet) contains a full list). The largest volume offences include: handling stolen goods, threat to commit criminal damage and perverting the course of justice. Police recorded 42,732 offences in the year ending June 2013, a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year. The number of miscellaneous crimes against society offences has shown year-on-year decreases since 2003/04.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 387,821 542,656 434,998 400,156
Drug offences 143,320 229,913 222,898 206,626
     Trafficking of drugs 22,435 28,323 30,948 29,353
     Possession of drugs 120,885 201,590 191,950 177,273
Possession of weapons offences 36,379 37,079 22,401 19,920
Public order offences 129,517 218,380 145,364 130,878
Miscellaneous crimes against society 78,605 57,284 44,335 42,732
Rate per 1,000 population        
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 7 10 8 7
Drug offences 3 4 4 4
Possession of weapons offences 1 1 0 0
Public order offences 2 4 3 2
Miscellaneous crimes against society 2 1 1 1

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Table 19b: Police recorded other crimes against society - percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
June 2012 to July 2013 compared with:
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
OTHER CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY 3 -26 -8
Drug offences 44 -10 -7
     Trafficking of drugs 31 4 -5
     Possession of drugs 47 -12 -8
Possession of weapons offences -45 -46 -11
Public order offences 1 -40 -10
Miscellaneous crimes against society -46 -25 -4

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

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

  2. Data collection method: Police recorded crime.

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Notes for Other crimes against society

  1. Drugs misuse: findings from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW)

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).

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. This section draws on a range of sources including police recorded crime, the CSEW and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). Together these help to provide a fuller picture. For more information on the different sources of fraud data, see section 5.4 of the User Guide.

There have also been a number of changes to the presentation of fraud which were implemented in the previous quarterly bulletin and are repeated here. 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. 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 began to gradually take responsibility for recording fraud in all police forces areas in England and Wales, although it was not until March 2013 that responsibility had transferred from all police forces1. As such, the data presented in this bulletin on fraud recorded by the police 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 will gradually diminish (and that by Action Fraud grow) as forces have been switching to central recording during 2012/13. It will not be until the July 2014 publication, when figures are presented for the 2013/14 financial year, 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. As it has not been possible to disaggregate Action Fraud data to police force areas on a consistent basis these 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 455 fraud offences recorded by the force in the year ending June 2013 does not include fraud offences that they would have otherwise recorded between March and June 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 June 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. As the transfer to Action Fraud progresses and further initiatives to improve the reporting of fraud offences continue it is likely that the number of recorded fraud offences will increase further. See section 5.4 of the User Guide for more details on police recorded fraud and Action Fraud.

Prior to April 2013, ‘Making off without payment’ offences (for example, this covers offences in which the offender drives away without paying from a petrol station, running off from a taxi without paying) were recorded within ‘Preserved other fraud and repealed fraud offences’ and formed part of the overall fraud offence category. From April 2013 such offences have been moved into the more appropriate ‘Other theft offence’ category. In all, 11,322 ‘Making off without payment’ offences were recorded by the police between April and June 2013. Currently such offences for the other nine months of the latest reporting year (that is, July 2012 to March 2013) and for previous years are hidden within the fraud category. Thus comparisons between the affected categories should be made with caution.

In future publications a historical back series for making off without payment will be created from information submitted from police forces and presented on a consistent basis over time. Initial figures from forces that have been able to supply a back series suggests that the volume of Making off without payment offences is on a downward trend. Thus the future removal of this offence from the fraud time series will lead to a small increase on the overall trend in the fraud category.

Previously police recorded forgery offences were presented alongside fraud offences. Following the re-classification of some categories used to present police recorded crime, as described in the Introduction, these offences have now been moved to the offence category ‘Miscellaneous crimes against society’.

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

In the year ending June 2013, 230,335 fraud offences (excluding making off without payment from April 2013 onwards) were recorded by the police in England and Wales (Table 20a). This is equivalent to 4 offences recorded per 1,000 population. This represents a volume increase of 21% compared with the previous year and an increase of 59% compared with 2007/08. However, in the context of the move to centralised recording of fraud making comparisons over time is 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 effect. A clearer picture will emerge over the next one to two years once the new recording arrangements have matured.

Table 20a: Fraud offences recorded by police (including Action Fraud) – number and rate of offences

England and Wales

  Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13
Fraud offences including Action Fraud2 145,032 191,007 230,335
Fraud rate per 1,000 population 3 3 4

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on all data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police). Data presented also include crimes reported through Action Fraud. Between April 2011 and September 2012, five police forces had transferred responsibility for recording selected fraud offences to Action Fraud, followed by the remaining police forces in England and Wales by 31 March 2013.

  2. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. This process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013. Due to this change caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years. See the User Guide for more details including information on transfer date to Action Fraud for each force.

  3. From 2012-13, forgery offences have been reclassified under miscellaneous crimes against society.

  4. Making off without payment was previously included in fraud. Since April 2013 it is included in all other offences.

  5. Data collection method: Police recorded crime and Action Fraud.

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Table 20b: Fraud offences recorded by police (including Action Fraud) – percentage change

England and Wales

Percentage change
      July 2012 to June 2013 compared with:
    Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12
Fraud offences including Action Fraud2   59 21

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Police recorded crime statistics based on all data from all 44 forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police). Data presented also include crimes reported through Action Fraud. Between April 2011 and September 2012, five police forces had transferred responsibility for recording selected fraud offences to Action Fraud, followed by the remaining police forces in England and Wales by 31 March 2013.

  2. Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. This process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013. Due to this change caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years. See the user guide for more details including information on transfer date to Action Fraud for each force.

  3. From 2012-13, forgery offences have been reclassified under miscellaneous crimes against society. 

  4. Data collection method: Police recorded crime and Action Fraud.

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Appendix table A5 (438 Kb Excel sheet) shows a more detailed breakdown of the fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud in the year ending June 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 (438 Kb Excel sheet) .

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) collect data on incidents of fraud direct from industry bodies (Table 21)2. The NFIB are based at the City of London Police, who take the national policing lead on fraud. The NFIB data are not subject to the same checks of consistency and quality control as those included in the recorded crime series, and are also subject to continuing development. The NFIB will be sourcing data from additional financial and fraud prevention institutions in the future. While the industry bodies are encouraged to record in line with Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) for recorded crime, we understand that there is not a consistent approach across the different bodies and it would appear that they apply different criteria in judging whether an incident should be referred to the NFIB. For example, they apply their own referral criteria such as cost, impact or scale of the fraud which may change over time. As such, the NFIB data are not judged to currently be of sufficient quality to be badged as National Statistics and users should interpret the figures with caution.

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. These previous quarterly publications combined NFIB figures from industry sources with Action Fraud offence data that are now included within the police recorded crime series. While undertaking the review of offence classifications (see Introduction) further consideration was given to the presentation of fraud offences. It was decided that it would be more coherent to move the Action Fraud offences (recorded in accordance with the HOCR) into the main police recorded crime series and thus Table 21 is now based only on data from industry sources. The data published here are comparable with the last quarterly publication (year ending March 2013) when the change was implemented.

The NFIB received 316,140 reports of fraud in the UK in the year ending June 2013 based on data from industry bodies (Table 21). Of the fraud offences reported by industry bodies, 95% were banking and payment related and involve cheque, plastic card and online bank accounts. 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 has experienced plastic card fraud).

Table 21: Fraud offences, reported by industry bodies to NFIB (non-National Statistics), year ending June 2013[1]

United Kingdom

Numbers
Fraud Type2  
Banking and payment related fraud                                                                    299,547
Telecom Industry Fraud (Misuse of Contracts)                                                                         6,661
Insurance Related Fraud                                                                         9,870
Business Trading Fraud                                                                               62
Total                                                                    316,140

Table source: National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

Table notes:

  1. From 2012/13, this table presents fraud data collated by NFIB from CIFAS and UK Payments only and does not include fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud, which are now represented alongside police recorded crime. Data presented here are therefore not comparable with past published NFIB  figures.

  2. For an explanation and examples of fraud offences within each category, see section 5.4 of the User Guide.

  3. For more information on the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau see http://www.nfib.police.uk/

  4. The breakdown of fraud types presented here is condensed due to the removal of Action Fraud data. All other former fraud offence categories not included here are represented in the Action Fraud breakdown in Table A5.

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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 (though plastic card fraud theft itself is not included in the main CSEW crime count). The year ending June 2013 CSEW showed that 4.5% of plastic card owners were victims of card fraud in the last year, with no statistically significant difference from the 4.7% estimated in the year ending June 2012 survey. The level of plastic card fraud is at a similar level to that measured in the 2007/08 survey, this follows rises in plastic card fraud from the 2006/07 survey to the 2008/09 survey, which corresponds to industry source losses as described below (Figure 15). Despite the decrease shown since 2009/10, this level of victimisation remains higher than more established acquisitive offences such as theft from the person and other theft of personal property (1.1% and 1.9% respectively, Table 15a). 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 15: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending June 2013

Figure 15: Proportion of CSEW plastic card users who had been a victim of plastic card fraud in the last year, 2005/06 to year ending June 2013

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Notes for Fraud

  1. For more information regarding the date when each police force transferred responsibility to Action Fraud see Section 5.4: Fraud in the User Guide.
  2. This includes CIFAS (a UK-wide fraud prevention service) and Financial Fraud Action UK (which collates information from the card payments industry in the UK).

Crime experienced by children aged 10 to 15

Since January 2009, the CSEW has asked children aged 10 to 15 resident in households in England and Wales about their experience of crime in the previous 12 months. Preliminary results from the first calendar year were published in 2010 (Millard and Flatley). The results for 2010/11 were published in two reports (Chaplin et al and Smith et al). The questionnaire was refined again for the 2011/12 survey 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 number of incidents estimated for the four available 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 figures for completeness. More details about these two measures can be found in the ‘Further Information’ section.

Overall level of crime – preferred measure

Based on CSEW interviews in the year ending June 2013, there were an estimated 850,000 crimes experienced by children aged 10 to 15 using the preferred measure; of this 55% were violent crimes (471,000) while most of the remaining crimes were thefts of personal property (336,000). Incidents of vandalism to personal property experienced by children were less common (43,000 incidents).

Thirteen per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had been a victim of any crime covered by the CSEW in the past 12 months; this includes 6% who had been a victim of a violent crime and 7% who had been a victim of personal theft (Tables 22 to 24). Although there were more violent incidents than theft offences, violent incidents affected a smaller proportion of 10 to 15 year olds than theft offences, because they were more likely to have been repeated against the same victim.

Table 22a: CSEW offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
    Thousands:        
Number of incidents 1,030 893 1,023 821 850
    Percentage:        
Percentage who were victims once or more 14.6 11.7 15.0 12.7 13.1
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Table 22b: CSEW offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Broad measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Broad measure1
    Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
    Thousands:        
Number of incidents 2,071 1,507 1,513 1,238 1,269
    Percentage:        
Percentage who were victims once or more 24.5 17.3 20.1 17.6 18.4
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Violent offences – preferred measure

The CSEW estimates that there were 471,000 violent offences against children aged 10 to 15 in the year ending June 2013 with just over two thirds (71%) of these resulting in injury to the victim. Although not directly comparable, 55% of violent incidents among adults aged 16 or over resulted in injury to the victim (Table 5a).

Six per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had experienced violent crime in the last year; and 4% had experienced violence with injury (Table 23a). One per cent of children aged 10 to 15 were victims of robbery in the last year.

Table 23a: CSEW violent offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10-15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
    Number of incidents (thousands)    
Violence 630 586 566 465 471
  Wounding 128 87 55 89 85
  Assault with minor injury 265 328 298 207 213
  Assault without injury 164 115 132 103 100
  Robbery 74 56 81 65 73
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Violence with injury 412 449 388 329 334
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 217 137 177 136 137
    Percentage who were victims once or more  
Violence 8.5 6.9 7.6 6.1 6.5
  Wounding 1.9 1.1 0.9 1.0 1.1
  Assault with minor injury 3.7 3.7 3.6 2.9 3.2
  Assault without injury 2.4 1.7 2.1 1.4 1.5
  Robbery 1.3 0.9 1.3 1.0 1.0
  Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Theft with threat (unspecified)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Violence with injury 5.5 5.1 4.8 4.2 4.5
  Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 3.4 2.1 3.1 2.1 2.1
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see Section 2.5 of the User Guide for more information).

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

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

  6. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Table 23b: CSEW violent offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Broad measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
  Broad measure1
  Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
  Number of incidents (thousands)      
  1,508 1,088 979 844 849
Wounding 130 87 55 89 85
Assault with minor injury 357 399 370 257 272
Assault without injury 316 195 472 429 417
Robbery 80 64 83 69 74
Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 607 341 .. .. ..
Theft with threat (unspecified)3 18 3 .. .. ..
Violence with injury 509 521 460 379 393
Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 999 567 519 465 456
  Percentage who were victims once or more    
  18.1 12.1 12.9 11.7 12.2
Wounding 1.9 1.1 0.9 1.0 1.1
Assault with minor injury 5.1 4.5 4.5 3.7 4.1
Assault without injury 4.2 3.0 7.1 6.4 6.4
Robbery 1.4 1.0 1.3 1.1 1.0
Aggressive behaviour (unspecified)3 7.5 4.5 .. .. ..
Theft with threat (unspecified)3 0.2 0.1 .. .. ..
Violence with injury 6.8 5.8 5.7 4.9 5.4
Violence without injury (includes specified and unspecified)3,4,5 12.4 7.4 8.0 7.0 7.1
  3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see section 2.5 of the User Guide for more information).

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

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

  6. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Property offences – preferred measure

There were an estimated 336,000 incidents of theft and 43,000 incidents of damage of personal property experienced by children aged 10 to 15 according to the year ending June 2013 CSEW. Around 74% of the thefts were classified as other theft of personal property (250,000 incidents) which includes thefts of property left unattended.

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

Table 24a: CSEW property offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Preferred measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Preferred measure1
    Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
    Number of incidents (thousands)    
Personal theft 353 280 419 314 336
  Theft from the person 59 34 51 41 32
  Snatch theft 21 19 25 12 13
  Stealth theft 38 15 26 29 19
  Other theft of personal property 203 165 253 221 250
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 20 25 39 22 24
  Bicycle theft4 71 56 75 31 31
Vandalism to personal property4 48 27 39 42 43
  Damage to personal property4 48 27 39 42 43
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)4 .. .. .. .. ..
    Percentage who were victims once or more  
Personal theft 7.4 5.4 8.0 6.8 7.0
  Theft from the person 0.9 0.7 1.2 0.9 0.8
  Snatch theft 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.3
  Stealth theft 0.6 0.3 0.6 0.7 0.5
  Other theft of personal property 4.4 3.1 4.9 4.8 5.1
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 .. .. .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.5
  Bicycle theft4 1.6 1.2 1.5 0.8 0.8
Vandalism to personal property4 0.7 0.4 0.8 1.0 1.0
  Damage to personal property4 0.7 0.4 0.8 1.0 1.0
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)3 .. .. .. .. ..
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see section 2.5 of the User Guide for more information).

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

  5. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Table 24b: CSEW property offences experienced by children aged 10 to 15 - Broad measure

England and Wales

Children aged 10 to 15
    Broad measure1
    Apr-09 to Mar-10 Apr-10 to Mar-11 Apr-11 to Mar 12 Apr-12 to Mar 13 Jul-12 to Jun 13
    Number of incidents (thousands)    
Personal theft 426 334 487 352 377
  Theft from the person 61 37 53 47 41
  Snatch theft 22 22 25 12 13
  Stealth theft 38 15 27 35 29
  Other theft of personal property 250 190 320 252 281
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 21 19 .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 23 31 39 22 24
  Bicycle theft4 71 56 75 31 31
Vandalism to personal property4 137 85 47 42 0
  Damage to personal property4 59 27 47 42 43
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)4 78 57 .. .. ..
    Percentage who were victims once or more    
Personal theft 8.5 6.3 9.0 7.4 7.6
  Theft from the person 0.9 0.7 1.2 1.0 0.9
  Snatch theft 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.3
  Stealth theft 0.6 0.3 0.7 0.8 0.6
  Other theft of personal property 5.0 3.5 5.8 5.3 5.7
  Theft of personal property (unspecifed)3 0.5 0.4 .. .. ..
  Theft from the dwelling/outside the dwelling4 0.5 0.6 0.8 0.5 0.5
  Bicycle theft4 1.6 1.2 1.5 0.8 0.8
Vandalism to personal property4 2.2 1.5 1.0 1.0 0.0
  Damage to personal property4 1.0 0.4 1.0 1.0 1.0
  Damage to personal property (unspecified)3 1.3 1.1 .. .. ..
Unweighted base 3,762 3,849 3,930 2,879 2,926

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

  3. These offences are designated as 'unspecified' since only limited information was collected about these low-level offences in 2009/10 and 2010/11  (see section 2.5 of the User Guide for more information).

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

  5. Some estimates are based on a small number of children hence caution should be applied; see User Guide tables UG6 and UG8 for the margin of error around the 2012/13 estimates.

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

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Anti-social behaviour

Incidents recorded by the police

Figures relating to anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be considered alongside police recorded (notifiable) crime to provide a more comprehensive view of the crime and disorder that comes to the attention of the police. Incidents of anti-social behaviour which result in a notifiable offence will be included in police recorded crime figures and as such the two sets of data 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. While incidents are recorded under NSIR in accordance with the same ‘victim focused’ approach that applies for recorded crime, these figures are not currently accredited National Statistics and are not subject to the same level of quality assurance as the main recorded crime collection. In particular, a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2012 1 found that there was greater variation in the recording of ASB incidents across police forces than in recording notifiable offences. It is also known that occasionally police forces may be duplicating some occurrences of a singular ASB incident where multiple reports by different callers have been made. Therefore the figures stated below are likely to be slight overestimates of all ASB incidents which should be recorded by the police.

Furthermore, data on ASB incidents 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 incidents2 of ASB in the year ending June 2013. This compares to the 3.7 million notifiable crimes recorded by the police over the same period (Figure 16). Excluding the incidents recorded by the British Transport Police, the number of ASB incidents in the year ending June 2013 decreased by 13% compared with the previous year. Following the HMIC review in 2012 it was found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB. 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.

  • Incidents that were not ASB being recorded as ASB.

Several of the above will contribute to the large decrease shown when comparing the latest year with the previous. 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 16: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending June 2013

Figure 16: Police recorded crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, 2007/08 to year ending June 2013

Notes:

  1. ASB figures are not accredited National Statistics.
  2. ASB incidents exclude British Transport Police.
  3. Following a different approach to recording ASB incidents data, figures for year ending June 2012 and year ending June 2013 are not directly comparable with previous years; see Chapter 5 of the User Guide for more information.
  4. Due to revised data the figure for Jul-11 to Jun-12 differs from the figure published in the year ending June 2012 quarterly release.

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

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

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

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

All forces adapted these new definitions, though in the HMIC review it was found that 35% of all incidents reviewed were considered to be incorrectly categorised.

In the year ending June 2013, of the ASB incidents categorised by the police, 66% were identified as ‘Nuisance’; 28% as ‘Personal’; and 6% as ‘Environmental’ (Figure 17). This distribution may reflect propensity of reporting rather than the actual distribution of ASB by type.

Figure 17: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending June 2013 (non-National Statistics)

Figure 17: Categories of anti-social behaviour incidents, year ending June 2013 (non-National Statistics)

Notes:

  1. ASB figures are not accredited National Statistics.
  2. Figures include British Transport Police.

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CSEW measures of anti-social behaviour

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

In the year ending June 2013 CSEW, 13% of adults perceived there to be a high level of ASB in their local area, a statistically significant decrease of 2 percentage points from the previous year (Table 25). Compared with the previous year, the year to June 2013 CSEW showed decreases in the proportions of adults perceiving problems in all types of ASB, with the exception of the rubbish or litter lying around category showing a non-statistically significant decrease of 1 percentage point.

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 slight drop to 20%. The most pronounced decline has been for the abandoned or burnt-out cars strand, which peaked at 25% in 2002/03 and has subsequently fallen each year down to 3% in the year ending June 2013. Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property has also seen large decreases over time, from 35% in 2002/03 to 18% in the year ending June 2013. The reduction in these indicators has been the main driver behind the overall reduction in the composite measure over time (Table 25).

Table 25: CSEW trends in the anti-social behaviour indicators, 1996 to year ending June 2013 (1)

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Jan-96 to Dec-96 Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Statistically significant change, Jul-11 to Jun-12 to Jul-12 to Jun-13
  Percentages  
High level of perceived anti-social behaviour2  :               21              16              15              13 *
             
  Percentage saying there is a very/fairly big problem in their area  
Rubbish or litter lying around              26              33              30              29              28  
People using or dealing drugs              21              32              26              27              25 *
Teenagers hanging around on the streets              24              33              31              24              21 *
People being drunk or rowdy in public places2  :               23              25              24              20 *
Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property              24              35              27              21              18 *
Noisy neighbours or loud parties                 8              10              10              12              11 *
Abandoned or burnt-out cars2  :               25                 7                 4                 3 *
             
Unweighted base3, 4 7,625 34,622 45,021 18,212 8,427  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. For further years data see Annual trend and demographic table D9 of the year ending March 2013 publication.

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

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

  4. From April 2011 the number of respondents asked questions about their perceptions of problems in the local area was reduced (from a full sample) to a half sample and from April 2012 was reduced to a quarter sample.

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

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

Twenty-eight per cent of adults in the year ending June 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 30% in the year ending June 2012. This included 10% of adults who experienced or witnessed drink related anti-social behaviour and 10% who witnessed or experienced groups hanging around on the streets.

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

Table 26: CSEW experiences of anti-social behaviour, year ending June 2012 to year ending June 2013

England and Wales

Adults aged 16 and over
  Jul-11 to Jun-12 Jul-12 to Jun-13 Statistically significant change, Jul-11 to Jun-12 to Jul-12 to Jun-13
  Percentages  
Personally experienced/witnessed anti-social behaviour in local area 30 28 *
       
Types of anti-social behaviour experienced/witnessed1      
       
Drink related behaviour 11 10 *
Groups hanging around on the streets 11 10 *
Inconsiderate behaviour2 7 6 *
Loud music or other noise 6 5 *
Litter, rubbish or dog-fouling 4 4  
Vandalism, criminal damage or graffiti 5 4 *
People being intimidated, verbally abused or harassed 4 3 *
People using or dealing drugs 3 3  
Vehicle related behaviour3 3 3  
Nuisance neighbours 3 3  
Begging, vagrancy or homeless people 1 1  
Out of control or dangerous dogs 1 1  
People committing inappropriate or indecent sexual acts in public 0 0  
       
Other anti-social behaviour 1 2 *
       
Unweighted base 42,342 35,283  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

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

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

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

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

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More detailed analysis on ASB as measured by the CSEW has been published in the 'Short Story on Anti-Social Behaviour, 2011/12' release.

Notes for Anti-social behaviour

  1. Further details on the recording of ASB incidents are also available in the HMIC report ‘A step in the right direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour’.
  2. ASB incidents include British Transport Police for April 2012 to June 2013 only.

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 DVLA for vehicle registration offences.

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

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

  • Cases brought to magistrates’ courts in the year ending March 20132 resulted in 1 million convicted non-notifiable offences, down 5% from the year ending March 2012 and continuing the downward trend since 2002/03 (Tables 27a and 27b); and

  • 39,000 Penalty Notices for Disorder were issued for non-notifiable offences in the year ending March 2013 (Table 27a). Four in five of these were for being drunk and disorderly3.

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

England and Wales

  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Apr-11 to Mar-12 Apr-12 to Mar-13
         
Non-notifiable convictions (thousands)3 1,648 1,335 1,065 1,008
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population) 1,2 31 25 19 18
         
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder (thousands) 4,5,6 n/a 65 45 39
Incidence rate (per 1,000 population) 1,2   1 1 1

Table source: Ministry of Justice

Table notes:

  1. The Year to March 2013 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2011 census based population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using the mid-year population estimate from the previous year.

  2. Numbers will be affected by the size of the resident population relative to the transient or visiting populations and may therefore over-represent the number of crimes relative to the real population of potential offenders
  3. Figures for non-notifiable convictions apply to offenders aged 10 and over.

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

  5. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.

  6. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

  7. Data collection method: Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2013.

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

England and Wales

  April 2012 to March 2013  compared with:    
  Apr-02 to Mar-03 Apr-07 to Mar-08 Apr-11 to Mar-12
  Percentage    
Non-notifiable convictions3 -39 -25 -5
Incidence rate 1,2 -43 -28 -6
       
Non-notifiable Penalty Notices for Disorder 4,5,6 n/a -39 -12
Incidence rate 1,2   -41 -13

Table source: Ministry of Justice

Table notes:

  1. The Year to March 2013 incidence rate is calculated using ONS mid-2011 census based population estimates. Other figures are also calculated using the mid-year population estimate from the previous year.

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

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

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

  5. Piloted in 2002 and introduced nationally in 2004.

  6. Includes British Transport Police from 2011.

  7. Data collection method: Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2013.

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The police and, increasingly, local authorities have powers to issue penalty notices for a range of traffic offences and in 2011/12, the police issued 1.5 million Fixed Penalty Notices (just over half of which related to speeding)4.

Notes for Other non-notifiable crimes

  1. The Notifiable Offence List includes all indictable and triable-either-way offences (that is, offences which could be tried at a Crown Court) and a few additional closely related summary offences (which would be dealt with by a magistrate). For information on the classifications used for notifiable crimes recorded by the police, see Appendix 1 of the User Guide.
  2. The latest figures available from the MoJ relate to the year ending March 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 June 2013 in November 2013.
  3. Figures from Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to March 2013 (Tables 2.1, 6.2, 6.3).
  4. Source: Police Powers and Procedures 2011/12.

Commercial Victimisation Survey

Following a recommendation of the National Statistician’s review of crime statistics (National Statistician, 2011), a survey of crimes against businesses took place in England and Wales in 2012. The Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) provides information on the volume and type of crime committed against businesses in England and Wales across four sectors: manufacturing, retail and wholesale, transport and storage, and accommodation and food. For more information, see the Home Office’s Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey. The survey is annual, not continuous, and the next round will take place in the autumn of 2013.

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

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

England and Wales

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

Table source: Home Office

Table notes:

  1. Data collection method: 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey

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Data Sources - further information

This quarterly release presents the most recent crime statistics from two different sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (previously known as the British Crime Survey), and police recorded crime. It also draws on data from other sources to provide a more comprehensive picture. This series of first releases focuses on the latest figures and longer-term trends. For detailed information about the statistical sources used here, refer to the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales (ONS, 2013)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 CSEW and police recorded crime. Both employ official population estimates in their construction. On 30 April 2013 ONS 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, whilst 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 Crime Survey figures are based were not available until October 2013. As a result the plan is to now publish CSEW estimates using 2011 Census population totals in the quarterly update for the survey year to December 2013 which will be published in April 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 above. This will require the production of revised weights and key estimates for all survey years back to 2002/03.

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

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

7. Future Dissemination Strategy – Summary of Responses

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

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

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

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

12. ‘Focus on Property Crime, 2011/12’. Published 9 May 2013

13. ‘Short story on Anti Social Behaviour, 2011/12’. Published 11 April 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Office 2013c ‘Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin

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

MoJ, 2013, ‘Criminal Justice Statistics, Quarterly Update to March 2013’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office for National Statistics 2013c ‘Future Dissemination Strategy- Summary of Responses’

Office for National Statistics 2013d ‘Methodological note: Impact of presentational changes to National Statistics on police recorded crime in England and Wales’

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

Office for National Statistics 2013f ‘Focus on Property Crime. 2011/12’

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

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

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 a different basis and have different definitions and clasifications. For example, contraventions of Scottish criminal law are divided for statistical purposes into “crimes” and “offences”. “Crime" is generally used for the more serious criminal acts and the less serious termed "offences".

While this might appear to be a similar distinction between what we refer to as “notifiable” and “non-notifiable” offences in England and Wales, there is not a direct read across with, for example, some similar offences that are within the notifiable offence list in England and Wales appearing in the offences (rather than crimes) subset in Scotland.

Another important distinction is that, while the England and Wales figures are victim-based, the Scottish figures are offence based. Thus one incident of theft involving violence against a single victim would be recorded as two crimes in Scotland while in England and Wales it would be recorded as one offence. Conversely, one incident of corporate manslaughter with multiple victims would be recorded as one crime in Scotland but as multiple offences (based on the number of victims in England and Wales).

Victimisation surveys

A number of countries run their own national victimisation surveys and they all broadly follow a similar model to the 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 (e.g. face to face interviewing, telephone interviewing, self-completion via the web) differ, as do the crime reference periods (last 5 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 country 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 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 Crime Survey for England and Wales (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 also follow a similar format to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, 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.

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: January 2014.

    Future thematic reports due to be published: Focus on Property Crime: Findings from the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales and Police Recorded Crime: November 2013

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

Statistical contacts

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John Flatley +44 (0)20 75928695 ONS crimestatistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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