There are two sets of statistics which report on crime in England and Wales, the Police recorded crime and the National Crime Survey. One gives a very different picture to the other. This can be explained by methodological differences between them, such as crime and population coverage and variations in police recording practices over time.
Police Recorded Crime
Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales which is the largest annual rise for ten years. Almost 5 million crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales for the 12 months to March this year – up 10% on the same period in 2015/16.
Police recorded 458,021 more offences compared with the previous year, which appears to be driven by an increase in violence – police recorded an 18% rise in violent crime, including a 20% surge in gun and knife crime.
Based on these figures, the statisticians point out that the rise in crime is accelerating, with a 3% increase recorded in the year to March 2015, followed by an 8% rise in the following year, and now a 10% increase in the 12 months to this March.
National Crime Survey
Excluding the new Experimental Statistics on fraud and computer misuse, latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed there were 5.9 million incidents of crime covered by the survey, a 7% reduction compared with the previous year’s survey.
Including fraud and computer misuse offences, there were an estimated 11 million incidents of crime covered by the CSEW.
The police recorded nearly 5 million offences in the year ending March 2017, which represented an annual rise of 10%; this increase is likely to reflect a range of factors, which vary by crime type, including continuing improvements to recording processes and practices, expanded offence coverage and also genuine increases in some crime types.
How does this compare with our crime figures in Whittlesey?
Based on the reported crime figures for Whittlesey, in the year ending March 2016 there was a 19% drop in reported crime for Whittlesey. This was followed by an 11% rise for the year ending March 2017, still a lower total for reported crime than the year ending March 2015. Our figures are heavily influenced by reported anti-social behaviour and there was a significant increase during the months of June - September 2016 which accounted for much of the difference.