You asked

Please provide the number of recorded incidents of hacking, cyber crime and similar incidents in the UK over the last five years, as well as the number of convictions for this type of activity over the same period.

A breakdown of this information by region would also be appreciated if it is available.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry. We publish figures on the levels and trends of computer misuse crime in England and Wales, primarily based on two sets of crime statistics: from new questions introduced into the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and offences referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

Cybercrime is not a specific legal offence and thus does not form part of the offence list that is reported within the Official Statistics. However, there is some information on cybercrime available from these sources.

The CSEW provides the best indication of the volume of computer misuse offences. This is because only a small proportion of all incidents are reported and recorded.

Crime in England and Wales, year ending June 2019, provides estimates at England and Wales level only for a range of CSEW offence types relating to fraud and computer misuse (Appendix table A1) . These include computer viruses and unauthorised access to personal information (including hacking). The large majority of these offences will be cyber related crimes by their very nature. However, as questions on computer misuse are a recent addition to the CSEW, only limited time series data are available and therefore caution must be taken in interpreting early trends.

The CSEW only covers household population and not any incidents against businesses and other organisations. The Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS), run by the Home Office, looks at crimes against businesses in England and Wales, and includes a section on online crime. The latest findings from the 2018 CVS are published on the GOV.UK website.

Appendix table A5 presents the number of fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud and referred to the NFIB by industry bodies UK Finance and Cifas. These figures are broken down by offence type and include a range of computer misuse crimes. Data are available at England and Wales level only, and previous years are available to download via the link provided.

You may also be interested to see Table F8 of our Other related tables which provides offences recorded by the police in England and Wales which have been flagged as online crimes. These are currently experimental statistics which are in the testing phase and work is still ongoing with forces to improve the quality of the data submitted in this collection. There are some large variations in the proportion of offences flagged by each force depending on crime type and therefore it would not be possible to provide police force area level data at this current time.  

Statistics relating to convictions are primarily collected by the Ministry of Justice, and they may be able to provide further assistance. They can be contacted at the following email address:

If you would like any information in the future, you can email directly and we will endeavor to help.