UK crime level falls to lowest since 1981
The official Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning showed the number of crimes committed was down 9% on the previous year.
This latest decrease, compounded by falls in previous years, means that estimated crime levels are at their lowest since the survey began in 1981. The current crime rate is now thought to be less than half what it was at its peak in 1995.
The CSEW asks a sample of adults living in England and Wales about their experiences of crime in the last year, and then extrapolates this to give an estimated crime rate. Since 2009 children aged 10-15 have also been included in the survey.
The findings of this year’s survey were backed up by the official number of crimes recorded by the police, which reported a 7% drop on the previous year. Victim-based crime reported to police was down 9% while “crimes against society” were down 10%.
Fraud saw the biggest increase at 27% but the survey notes that this increase should be viewed “in the context of a move to the centralised recording of fraud”. The number of reported sexual offences was also up by 1% and theft from the person rose 9%.
The numbers of police officers has concurrently dropped according to separate ONS figures. The reduction of 4,516 officers is the third consecutive year of decreases since the Coalition Government took charge.