Are 2017 crime statistics misleading?

The new crime statistics for England and Wales have been released but what does this data mean?

Crime, by its very nature, is incredibly difficult to measure in its entirety and no survey conducted by the CSEW (The Crime Survey for England and Wales) or any other body provides a clear and consistent measure of crime levels. Also to be considered of course, is that not all crime is brought to the attention of the police forces around the country, however what these studies conducted year on year do show is a broad set of crimes experienced by the population resident in households. It can predict the likelihood of becoming a victim of all crime categories.

This survey does suggest that Crime in general has fallen considerably over time, According to their online publication with:

Approximately 14% of adults were victims in the latest survey in 2017 compared with around 24% in 2007 and in 1995 the statistic was a frightening 40%, the highest since records began.

Despite this considerable reduction in overall crime, some serious crimes in England and Wales have actually risen in the last 12 months by 19%.

Knife crime worryingly, rose again, as police recorded nearly 37,000 incidents in all, the highest number since comparable records began seven years ago! The ONS said crime it called "violent," including knife crime, sex offences and violence against the person. Additionally, there was a 10% increase in the violence with injury bracket.

An ONS spokesman said "Most of this volume increase was thought to result from 'improved recording practices' but it is likely that rises in the most serious categories reflect genuine rises in violent crime".

Interpretation of this data suggests that although your chances of becoming a victim to crime in general has reduced drastically over the past 10 years, with petty crimes reducing year on year, violent and serious crime appears to be on the rise.

Statistics can be misleading, I would suggest that petty crimes are no longer reported as they once were, it is quite commonplace to discuss with friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances that minor and sometimes even moderate crimes are not reported to the police by victims, as response and action is often inadequate and a waste of your time, as well as the police force's. 

We are all aware that cuts have been made to numbers in the police force in recent years, are we simply led to believe that would-be criminals have decided to stay at home due to the police force being overworked? Perhaps criminals do have a heart?

The latest CSEW estimate is 5.8 million incidents of crime in the year ending June 2017, which overall is a 9% reduction from June, however these crimes do not include Cyber Crime (computer misuse offences) or fraud. With these crimes included the overall figure leaps drastically to 10.8m.

But, let’s have a look at some of the crimes that REALLY matter, over the last 2 years:

Violence year ending Mar 2015 - 778,172 Violence year ending Jun 2017 1,229,260  ^ 36.6%

Violence with Injury Mar 2015  - 373,509 Violence with Injury  Jun 2017 - 480,748 ^ 22.3%

Stalking and Harassment Mar 15  - 86,368 Stalking and Harassment Jun 2017 -  243,086 ^ 281.4%

Total sexual offences Mar 15 - 88,402 Total sexual offences June 2017 - 129,700 ^ 31.8%

Rape Mar 15 - 29,385 Rape Jun 2017 - 45,100 ^ 34.8%

Homicide Mar 15 - 664 Homicide June 2017  - 677 ^ 1.9%

Knife or sharp instrument crime Mar 15 - 29,476 Knife or sharp instrument crime June 2017 - 36,998 ^ 20.3%

Firearms offences Mar 14 - 4,911 Firearms offences Jun 2017 - 6,696 ^ 26.6%

Clearly, crime where it matters most is NOT falling, it is rising sharply and consistently, some would even argue its getting a little out of control. a 281% increase is Stalking & harassment is a figure to be found on CSEW website and is extremely troubling, yet the huge increase is not mentioned or highlighted at all.

Violence itself in general is up 36,6% from 778,172 to 1,229,260.

Is it a coincidence that crime has risen as police number of fallen? Digest the data, consider what has happened to front line policing in recent years and decide for yourselves. visit the website and view the survey at (

Look after each other out there.