FIGURES released for recorded crime in England and Wales by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) up to the year ending March 2018 reveal that there has been a fall in overall levels of crime in recent decades. The figures released by the Office for National Statistics includes information, which claims that the trend is stabilising, however there has been a rise in some types of theft and in lower-volume but higher-harm types of violence. The figures are also balanced by a fall in the high-volume offence of computer misuse.

What are the latest figures?

Figures for year ending March 2018

Violence

  • No change in overall violent offences estimated by the CSEW (1,259,000 incidents)
  • 16% increase in police recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument (to 40,147)
  • 2% increase in police recorded offences involving firearms (to 6,492)

Homicide

  • 12% rise in police recorded offences (to 701). This figure excludes terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, and events at Hillsborough in 1989

Robbery

  • 30% rise in police recorded offences (to 77,103)

Theft

  • 8% increase in overall theft offences estimated by the CSEW (to 3,585,000)
  • A 12% increase was also seen in vehicle offences recorded by the police (to 457,036). This continues the rising trend seen over the last two years
  • 17% increase in incidents of vehicle-related theft estimated by the CSEW (to 924,000)
  • 6% rise in offences of burglary, recorded by the police (to 437,537

Computer misuse

  • 31% decrease in offences estimated by the CSEW (to 1,239,000)

Fraud

  • No change in the overall number of offences estimated by the CSEW (3,245,000)

Sexual offences

  • 0.7 percentage point increase in the proportion of adults who experienced sexual assaults in the last year
    0.8 The number of sexual offences picked up by the CSEW is too small to give reliable estimates. However, the survey does provide a measure of the proportion of adults affected by a crime

Public order offences

  • 36% rise in police recorded public order offences (to 385,864)

Criminal damage    

  • No change in overall criminal damage offences estimated by the CSEW (1,083,000 incidents)

Source: Office for National Statistics

In the year ending March 2018, only 2 out of 10 adults experienced any of the crimes asked about in the CSEW

What are the main findings?

The statistics reveal that there has been a continued rise in the number of offences involving knives or sharp instruments, with police recording 16% more offences this year compared with last year.

The latest rise of 2% in recorded offences involving firearms was smaller than previously seen; this included a decrease in less serious firearm offences, whereas more serious firearm offences showed continued increases; some of these increases are likely to reflect improvements in recording.

The number of homicides recorded by the police showed a fourth consecutive rise, increasing by 12% compared with last year; this follows a long-term decline, although homicide remains rare these offences tend to be concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas.

Statistics also reveal a rise in some types of theft offences.

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed a 17% increase in vehicle-related thefts compared with the previous year, which is consistent with rises seen in the number of such offences recorded by the police.

The number of burglary offences recorded by the police has increased by 6% compared with the previous year

The number of robberies recorded by the police also increased by 30% in the latest year; while recording improvements are likely to have contributed to this rise, this may reflect a real change; similar to offences involving weapons, these offences are disproportionately concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas

A 31% fall was estimated by the CSEW in the number of computer misuse crimes, which was driven largely by a decrease in computer viruses.

Conclusions in the report include claims that;

  • Most people do not experience crime
  • In the year ending March 2018, only 2 out of 10 adults experienced any of the crimes asked about in the CSEW
  • An increase in the number of crimes recorded by the police does not necessarily mean the level of crime has increased.

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