While the latest set of Official Crime Statistics covering England and Wales come with what should, by now, be the familiar methodological qualifications concerning both their reliability – or, more pertinently perhaps, their unreliability – and validity, they are nevertheless useful as general indicators of crime patterns.
As such, they’re worth perusing if you have the time.
And if you don’t, there are always the edited lowlights…
6.3m crimes were recorded in the year to March 2022 – an all-time high for recorded crime and 4% higher than the previous high: 6.1m offences recorded in 2020.
Although there was a 16% increase in crime year-on-year, this figure needs to be seen in the context of the depressed recorded rates in 2021 due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
As is increasingly becoming the case there are wide fluctuations in the prevalence of different types of crime. This includes a:
This may or may not reflect a real increase in sexual offences because these statistics are impacted by campaigns focused on encouraging victims to report incidents that would, in the past, have gone unreported.
In England and Wales a crime is considered to be “cleared” (i.e. the police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the offence) once a suspect is charged or summonsed – not when a suspect is found guilty. In 2022:
Nearly half (42%) of rape victims “gave up and withdrew support for seeking justice through the criminal justice system” before anyone was convicted.
While the generally more-accurate Crime Survey of England and Wales (formerly the British Crime Survey) showed a decline in crime over the past 20 years, “offences recorded by police showed various serious offending hitting 20-year highs”. These included: