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Crime Rising?

Is crime rising? The latest crime stats for England and Wales

Here at Access Facilities Management, we strive to help our clients protect their most valuable assets against the threat of crime. From security guarding to CCTV surveillance, our range of solutions not only prevent crime from taking place but also provide added peace of mind and greater reassurance.

In order to always offer the best security possible, we constantly review the latest crime statistics to identify the threats our clients face. So, what do the latest figures reveal? And perhaps most importantly, is crime rising?

Is crime rising?

According to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales, overall offences have risen by eight per cent. However, this is due in large part to the estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences, which were included in the report for the first time ever.

As a result, online fraud is now the most common crime in the country, with almost one in ten people falling victim. More than five and a half million cyber offences are now thought to occur each year too, accounting for almost half of all crime in the country.

Even so, businesses must still remain vigilant in the face of traditional security threats. After all, the next most common offence behind fraud and cyber crime is theft, with 3.5 million recorded cases. There were also 1.2 million incidents of criminal damage and 1.3 million offences of violence against people.

In terms of individual increases, the ONS report revealed that police recorded an annual rise of 22 per cent in violent offences. However, this was because of the inclusion of harassment offences and online trolling. There was also a “genuine but small” increase in the number of knife related offences, gun crime rose by 7 per cent, while attempted murders were up 23 per cent.

What do the experts say?

“In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then,” said John Flatley, from the ONS. “When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the Internet had yet to be invented.

“Today’s figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence.”

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, also believes that many frauds go undetected and a great deal don’t get reported to the police. Talking to the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4, Winsor said:

“The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions. The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about. The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal.”

The rise of violent crime, specifically knife related offences, prompted the outgoing Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to say “warning lights were flashing,” emphasising the importance of combatting traditional crime alongside new threats like fraud.

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