It is essential when studying criminology that you are aware of the latest trends in criminal statistics and you should keep up to date with these trends on a regular basis.
The latest criminal statistics for the UK are as follows (taken from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), year ending December 2013)
Extent & trends
- The latest figures (year ending December 2013) indicate overall CSEW crime has fallen by 15% compared with the previous year, whereas total police recorded crime has fallen by 2%. The total number of CSEW incidents is estimated to be 25% lower than the 2007/08 survey, and is 60% lower than its peak level in 1995.
- Levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed a decrease of 22% in the year ending December 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 at the highest level reported in 1995.
- Victim-based crime accounted for 84% of all police recorded crime, and fell by 3% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year. Within victim-based crime, there were decreases across most of the police recorded crime categories. The exceptions to this were violence against the person (up 1%), shoplifting (up 6%) and sexual offences (up 17%).
- Overall household crime measured by the survey in the year ending December 2013 showed a decrease of 16% compared with the previous year; a result of decreases in other household theft, bicycle theft, vandalism and vehicle-related theft. Estimates for other household theft, vandalism, vehicle-related theft and burglary are at their lowest levels since the survey began in 1981.
- Around 2.2 million incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) were recorded by the police for the year ending December 2013. Excluding incidents recorded by the British Transport Police, the number of ASB incidents in the year ending December 2013 decreased by 7% compared with the previous year. However, it should be noted that a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that there was a wide variation in the quality of decision making associated with the recording of ASB. As a result, ASB incident data should be interpreted with caution.
Selected victim-based police recorded crime offences: volumes and percentage change between year ending December 2012 and year ending December 2013
Reporting and recording crime
- The CSEW has a higher number of reported volumes than police recorded crime as the survey is able to capture all offences by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to the police and then recorded. However, it does cover a narrower range of offences than the recorded crime collection.
- The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending December 2013, a decrease of 2% compared with the previous year. Police recorded crime figures continue to show year-on-year reductions; the latest figures are 38% lower than in 2002/03, when the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced. The rate of reduction, however, has slowed.
- The proportion of reported comparable violent crime that was recorded by the police continued to rise from 62% in the year to September 2003 to 67% in the year to September 2004, up from 36% in 1999.
- The public’s reporting of crime varies considerably by type of offence. Thefts of vehicles are most likely to be reported (95%), followed by burglaries in which something was stolen (77%). Reporting rates are relatively low for crimes such as common assault, theft from the person and vandalism (34%, 32% and 32% in 2004/05).
- The police recorded crime statistics measure both domestic burglaries (for example those against inhabited dwellings) and non-domestic burglaries (those against businesses). When compared with Office for National Statistics the previous year, domestic burglary decreased by 6% while non-domestic burglary decreased by 3% in the year ending December 2013. The latest level of burglary recorded by the police is half the level recorded in 2002/03.
- The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) covers offences against vehicles owned by any member of the household interviewed (including company cars). Estimates of CSEW vehicle-related theft for the year ending December 2013 fell by 10% compared with the previous year.
- Based on Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) interviews in the year ending December 2013, there were around 1.5 million incidents of vandalism of personal and household property; this was a decrease of 15% from the previous year.
- CSEW burglary follows a similar pattern to that seen for overall crime, peaking in the mid-1990s survey and then falling steeply until the 2004/05 survey. Estimates from the year ending December 2013 are 65% 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 December 2013 survey compared with around 6 in 100 households in the 1995 survey. Therefore, households are now around three times less likely to be a victim of burglary than in 1995.
- As stated previously, levels of violent crime estimated by the CSEW showed a decrease of 22% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year.
- The CSEW violence offences can be broken down further into ‘Violence with injury’ and ‘Violence without injury’. Both subcategories showed decreases; violence with injury down 25% and violence without injury down 20% in the year ending December 2013.
- Latest CSEW estimates show there were 1.5 million violent incidents in England and Wales, which is the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 1981. Violent incidents constitute 20% of all CSEW crime in the latest survey, making them an important driver of overall CSEW trends.
- Robberies fell 12% in the year ending December 2013 compared with the previous year, from 67,447 offences to 59,427 offences.
- In the year ending December 2013 the police recorded 551 homicides, 9 fewer than in the previous year.
- The number of sexual offences recorded by the police increased by 17%. This continues the pattern seen in recent quarterly releases and comes in the wake of the publicity surrounding the Savile case and allegations against other celebrities which are thought to have led to a greater number of victims coming forward to report sexual offences to the police.
- In the year ending December 2013, 207,252 fraud offences were recorded by the police and Action Fraud based on reports from members of the public. This represents a volume increase of 25% compared with the previous year. This rise should be seen in the context of a move towards improved recording of fraud following a move to centralised recording by the police. In addition, there were 309,880 reports of fraud to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau from industry bodies.