The level of crime has been broadly stable in recent years, however, the latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate a significant 9% reduction in the year ending March 2020.
Underlying this were significant falls in theft (12%) and criminal damage (13%) and almost all other crime types saw non-significant falls.
It will not be possible to say whether this decrease would have come to represent a change in the trend seen in recent years. This is because of the expected impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown on the level of crime from April 2020 as well as the necessary changes made to the Crime Survey.
Initial findings from the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) estimated a significant 32% reduction in total crime excluding fraud and computer misuse during April and May 2020 compared with a two-month average in the pre-lockdown period.
Underlying this reduction were significant falls in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and other theft of personal property; this reflects the increase in time people spent at home during the lockdown period, a reduction in opportunities for theft in public spaces and the closure of the night-time economy.
Similar to findings from the TCSEW, police recorded crime levels during the lockdown period were much lower than respective months in 2019, with 25% less crime in April 2020 and 20% less crime in May 2020.
Appendix tables to accompany the methodology note that presents findings from analysis to investigate whether increases in anti social behaviour (ASB) are a result of an order effect caused by changes to the survey instrument or are indicative of a genuine rise in these experiences.
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