Patterns of crime in the year ending March 2021 have been significantly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and government instructions to limit social contact. While there were decreases across a range of individual crime types, particularly theft offences, these were offset by rises in fraud and computer misuse offences, resulting in no change in overall levels of crime.
The Telephone Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) indicated a 36% increase in fraud and computer misuse offences compared with the year ending March 20191 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).
Although the TCSEW indicated no change in the total number of violence incidents, the total number of victims of violent crime decreased by 28% compared with the year ending March 2019. This was largely driven by falls in violence where the offender was a stranger.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides the best measure of victimisation and estimated that for the year ending March 2020 there were 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 years who were victims of sexual assault (including attempts) in the last year, with almost four times as many female victims (618,000) as male victims (155,000).
Over the past 15 years, the prevalence of sexual assault in the last year among the adult population aged 16 to 59 years has fluctuated between 1.5% and 3.0%, with a decrease in the latest year to 2.2% driven by a reduction in indecent exposure or unwanted sexual touching; however, the prevalence of rape or assault by penetration over this time has remained around 0.5%.
While the volume of sexual offences recorded by the police has almost tripled in recent years, the latest figures for the year ending March 2020 show a decrease of 0.7% to 162,936 offences compared with the previous year.
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.
Crime against households and adults using data from police recorded crime and the new Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales. Includes the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on crime and people’s perceptions of crime during the May 2020 to March 2021 interview periods.
The hidden nature of modern slavery makes producing an accurate prevalence measure difficult. This article explores the issue and brings together data sources linked to modern slavery from a range of organisations.