Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Crime Rises by 10%

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

The recent publication of the National Crime Survey shows a different picture.

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.




Crime in Whittlesey

Police deployment is targetted to make better use of resources and to respond to the changing nature of crime. The increasing use of technology allows for agile policing but this is less obvious than traditional methods where police would be seen more frequently on the street. We live in a modern world where communications are far more effective than they used to be. The traditional police on the beat model is easily circumvented simply by ensuring that their positions are known and the perpetrators moving away before they arrive. Deploying police on the street is comforting and re-assuring but is far less effective when incidents need to be dealt with. Imagine the scene where all the police in an area turned up to a violent incident having run across town or pedalled on their biikes or even spent ten minutes running to their car before being able to attend!  Looking at the statistics, violent crime is an aspect which is increasing. The police method of operation has had to change accordingly so that more use is made of vehicles for rapid deployment, and more use made of technology to aid communication and more quickly assess, appropriately tackle and record incidents.

There is a balance between the need to be efficient and the need to be visible and approachable. By reporting crime, which is unfortunately undereported,  we can help that balance to become better judged.

Is there an increasing problem with crime in Whittlesey as a result of cutbacks? At the moment, from the figures, it does not appear so!  

The figures below are taken from official statistics but remember that crimes may consist of a combination of aspects. For instance a burglary may involve a murder. This would be reported once under the most serious heading so the burglary would not appear in the figures. A burglary involving a theft of thousands of pounds of jewelry but where someone received a minor bump would appear on the figures as a burglary not under assault.

In Whittlesey we have an historically low crime rate. The graphs show that there are peaks but these diminish rapidly back to a low level following greater community action and awareness,  combined with the successful actions of the local police. The media and social networking would have us believe that crime is constantly rising and that the police are losing control of the streets due largely to cutbacks in their budgets and numbers. The figures shown below do not appear to support this view save for one area, that of violent crime. 

Here are some example statistics for Whittlesey.


Anti Social Behaviour - tends to happen more in warmer months but once the matters are reported and the ASB is tackled by the police the levels reduce to their normal low rates. Overall the trend is for a reducing lower rate with increased peaks. However ASB remains our highest level of reported crime and requires the community to report incidents to allow rapid and effective deployment of police resources.  

anti social behaviour graph

Vehicle Related Crime - peaks when criminals are operating in the area, this returns to a lower level as the perpetrators are either caught or move on.

vehicle crime

Burglary - most recent figures indicate that we have had a longer period than usual of low burglary rates. Peaks are followed by a reduction to a low level.


Violent Crime - this is the area in the statistices which have seen a gradual sustained increase. This supports the need for a rapid and often unpredictable deployment of police resource for attending incidents which may become, or are already, violent. 








Crime Survey

If you are worrying about being a victim of crime, and there seem to be more stories in the media every day, bear in mind findings from the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales indicated that 6 out of every 100 adults aged 16 and over experienced a crime against the person in the previous 12 months (5.9%), while 16 out of every 100 households experienced some type of household crime (16.2%) covered by the survey.

These prevalence rates were substantially lower than those measured by the CSEW in the mid-1990s.


Bear in mind that:


Young people most likely to be victims of violent crime

Those aged 16-24 are more likely to be victims of theft

Vandalism is the most commonly experienced crime