The latest crime data shows a rise in several crime types which you may think is in line with recent social media and news posts. What is particularly interesting is that the data is actually up to September 2023. It shows rises in a number of areas, including theft. However the crimes we’ve been hearing about most recently will not be reported in the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data until later in the year.

This report, published at the end of January 2024, shows an increase across a number of categories. Police recorded robbery offences increased by 12%. Offences involving knives and firearms rose by 5% and 3% respectively and theft offences increased by 9%. Theft of a motor vehicle rose by 8% as overall vehicle offences increased by 2%.

Thankfully there was some good news. The Crime survey for England and Wales shows that fraud decreased by 13% and criminal damage, which spiked during lockdown, was down by 21%.

Police Recorded Crime Data

Police recorded crime% increase compared with previous 12 months
Robbery offences12
Offences involving knives or sharp instruments5
Offences involving firearms3
Theft offences9
Theft of a motor vehicle8
Overall vehicle offences2

ONS draws attention to the rise in shoplifting. This is something we’ve explored – together with the current police response. You can read more about that here.

Crime data in this report has some missing pieces; some offences are missing and some police forces are not included. This gives an incomplete picture of crime nationally. However from the data available it looks as though history is repeating itself. As many experts have warned, crime usually increases during a cost of living crisis. Police recorded crime increased overall to 6.7 million rimes in the year ending 2023. Offences where people steal from or harm others appear higher than in previous reports.

Reading about the increases in shoplifting and other offences which target organisations it would appear that businesses are being particularly affected.

Notable increases were observed in shoplifting and fraud offences against businesses and other organisations 

ONS Crime report January 2024

Whilst crime is increasing, so are the tools to tackle and prevent it. There are projects and and plans in place to target specific crimes. For example the police have set out a plan to tackle retail crime. Advice is also available from groups such as the Neighbourhood watch, and ever improving equipment to protect people, homes and businesses.

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