Trends in Crime


Roycroft, M. 2015. Trends in Crime. Police Professional.
AuthorsRoycroft, M.

There appears to be a paradox in crime figures according to two reports issued recently by the Home Office in April 2015. The recent crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a rise in crime in the UK triggered by a rise in violent crime while the figures released by the the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) (which is based on interviews with members of the public about their experiences of crime) estimated a 7 per cent fall in overall crime to 6.9 million incidents last year. The CSEW, which questions 35,000 people in England and Wales, estimates that crime is now at its lowest level since the study began in 1981.So why have we seen this apparent discrepancy in figures? In reality the ONS figures reflect new reporting practices by the Police and it stated it could no longer approve figures recorded by the police because they were unreliable, prompting major revisions of how each force handles its figures. The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording is thought to have led to improved compliance with national recording standards, leading to proportionally more crimes reported to the police being recorded by them. Improved compliance with recording standards is thought to have particularly affected the way the police recorded crime categories of violence against the person (up 21%) and public order offences (up 14%). These rises were largely off-set by falls in the number of recorded theft offences (down 5%). In contrast to the CSEW, there was a 2% increase in police recorded crime compared with the previous year, with 3.8 million offences recorded in the year ending December 2014 (see Figure 1)

JournalPolice Professional
PublisherVerdant Media Limited
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Repository staff only
Web address (URL)
Publication dates
Print25 Jun 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2016
Copyright information© 2015 Police Professional
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