What do the latest crime figures really tell us?

Good news from the latest crime figures

There’s quite a buzz about the latest crime figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). These figures show drop in recorded crime. Some good news finally! Last year reported a stall in the trend of falling crime figures, so a drop this year is most welcome. This is what we are collectively working towards: less crime, fewer break ins, safer communities and peace of mind for everyone.

The ONS’ latest survey on reported crime has, like so many things, been carried out in a different way due to the ongoing restrictions. The headline is:

Total police recorded crime decreased by 6% to approximately 5.7 million offences; this was driven by substantial falls during the April to June 2020 period

Analysis of the latest crime figures

We have analysed the data on burglary, other household theft, theft from vehicles, bicycle theft and criminal damage. Here’s what we found:

Analysis: Lockdown crime down

For the period April 2020 – Jun 2020, ONS reports 121,000 incidents of domestic burglary and 138,000 incidents of other household theft. There are also 119,000 incidents of vehicle related theft and 199,000 incidents of criminal damage. These figures are much much lower than they have been for years, and this “drop in crime levels” is being celebrated. Looking at these figures, we can see that there were a total of 577,000 incidents under these four categories during an unprecedented national lockdown in a global pandemic.

This is the time when we were all being asked to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS. We were clapping for our heroes and only going out once each day to exercise. This was before the introduction of support bubbles so many people were entirely on their own. It’s difficult to comprehend that there were still criminals out there taking advantage, breaking in and stealing from people during this time.

Analysis: After lockdown

So what happened after lockdown? You may not be surprised to learn that all the figures we analysed saw a steep increase for Jul-Sep. The country re-opened and we were encouraged to leave home and eat out to help out. This meant homes were empty again as w enjoyed our summer. Domestic burglary shot up to 162,000 incidents and vehicle theft to 179,000. Although thankfully this was lower than pre lockdown figure, unlike the domestic burglary figure. Domestic burglary and other household theft actually rose beyond pre lockdown levels in the summer. So have criminals regained their confidence?  Are burglars flouting lockdown rules? It will be interesting to see whether lockdown continues to have a large effect on crime figures. Has there been another drop in crime levels during November’s national lockdown, and the one we are currently in?

Bicycle Theft

Bicycle theft has also increased steadily throughout 2020. The period Jan – March 2020 saw 73, 000 incidences of bicycle theft. This actually rose during the April – June lockdown period to 74,000. Perhaps this can be explained by an increase in bicycle ownership as we were encouraged to leave home once each day or exercise purposes? The upward trend continues as lockdown lifts and the final 3 months of the survey report 75,000 incidences of bicycle theft.

bicycle theft

Time to relax your security measures?

In light of the headlines, you might be tempted to relax your security measures. Please don’t! Keep your doors and window locked, and make sure those locks are up to standard. Always set your alarm. Join your local neighbourhood watch group. Make sure your CCTV cameras are working and recording correctly. Get in touch with us if you need help with this.

Did you know that in almost 2/3 of break ins occur when there is someone at home? Sadly this seems to be borne out by the statistics showing just how many people suffered a burglary during lockdown. We are currently working to raise awareness of the importance of using your burglar alarm. We encourage all home owners to use their alarm and we’re tackling the myths around it. If you don’t set yours, what’s your excuse? Setting your house alarm at night and every time you leave the house can really improve your security. Police reports for attempted burglaries often read “suspect was disturbed by the intruder alarm and fled”. This is a much better outcome than a break in!

Book your free burglar alarm survey with us today email sales@keybury.co.uk or call us on 01535 661197