Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2023

Crime against households and people aged 16 years and over, using data from police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

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Cyswllt:
Email Pete Jones

Dyddiad y datganiad:
25 January 2024

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
25 April 2024

1. Main points

The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed that there were an estimated 8.5 million offences in the year ending September 2023. While the latest figures do not show a statistically significant change in total crime compared with the year ending September 2022, they do follow a long-term downward trend and more recent falls since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with total crime 17% lower than the year ending March 2020. Compared with the year ending September 2022, there was some variation for individual crime types: 

  • fraud decreased by 13%, with notable reductions in advance fee fraud (33%) and other fraud (40%)  

  • computer misuse increased by 30%, mainly because of a 36% rise in unauthorised access to personal information 

  • criminal damage decreased by 21%, including a 30% fall in criminal damage to a vehicle 

The CSEW remains the best estimate of long-term trends in crimes against the household population for the crimes included in the survey. However, estimates for the year ending September 2022 and September 2023 should be interpreted with caution. The CSEW estimates presented for the year ending September 2022 are based on lower than usual interview numbers following the gradual return to face-to-face interviewing from October 2021 (20,980 respondents). Both years are subject to lower response rates, which may affect the quality of the estimates. The CSEW estimates have been temporarily suspended of their National Statistics status while we assess data quality since the pandemic. For more information, see the Office for Statistics Regulation's Temporary suspension of National Statistics status for estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales note.  

Although police recorded crime does not tend to be a good indicator of general trends in crime, it can give more insight into lower-volume, but higher-harm offences reported to the police, including those that the survey does not cover or capture well. Data for the year ending September 2023 showed: 

  • the number of homicides decreased by 9% to 591 offences compared with the year ending September 2022 (651 offences) 

  • police recorded robbery offences increased by 12% to 79,091 offences compared with the year ending September 2022 (70,792 offences), but they remained 12% lower than the year ending March 2020 (90,187 offences) 

  • offences involving knives or sharp instruments (excluding Greater Manchester Police and Devon and Cornwall Police) increased by 5% (to 48,716 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (46,367 offences), but remain 5% lower compared with the year ending March 2020 (51,228 offences) 

  • offences involving firearms (excluding Devon and Cornwall Police) increased by 3% (to 6,233 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (6,024 offences)

  • theft offences increased by 9% to 1.8 million offences compared with the previous year, this was largely a result of a 32% increase in shoplifting offences 

  • there was a slight increase (2%) in vehicle offences compared with the previous year, which included an 8% increase in theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle compared with year ending September 2022 and a 17% increase compared with the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year ending March 2020 

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2. Overall estimates of crime

According to Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates for the year ending September 2023, people aged 16 years and over experienced 8.5 million offences, no significant change compared with the year ending September 2022 (9.1 million offences). However, this follows a long-term downward trend and more recent falls since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with total crime 17% lower than the year ending March 2020 (10.2 million offences). 

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The latest CSEW figures are based on interviews conducted between October 2022 and September 2023, measuring experiences of crime in the 12 months before the interview. This means these crimes could have occurred any time between October 2021 and August 2023. Similarly, the year ending September 2022 will include crimes committed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and as early as October 2020. Crime Survey estimates are not currently designated as National Statistics. Please use these data with caution because of the potential impact of lower response rates on data quality. Read more in Section 14: Measuring the data.  

Since the mid-1990s, there have been long-term falls in overall CSEW crime estimates (Figure 1). However, long-term trends vary by crime type. For more information see Table A1 in our Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables.

For the crime types and population it covers, the CSEW is a better indicator of long-term trends than police recorded crime. It is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or police recording practices. 

Likelihood of victimisation

The latest CSEW estimates showed that approximately 84% of people aged 16 years and over did not experience any of the crimes asked about in the survey (Figure 2). Overall, 16% said they had experienced a CSEW crime. The likelihood of being a victim varied by crime type, with fraud having the highest likelihood of victimisation (5.8%), followed by vehicle-related theft (3.2%).

Trends in police recorded crime 

For crimes that come to the attention of the police, police recorded crime has wider coverage than the CSEW as it includes offences against all people (including those aged under 16 years old and the non-household population), and businesses, as well as victimless crimes, such as drug taking.  

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Improvements to recording processes and practices by the police, expansions of the recorded crime collection to include new offences, variations in police activity, more victims reporting crime, and genuine increases in some types of crime, have each made substantial contributions to rises in recorded crime over recent years. This effect has been more pronounced for some crime types. For some types of offence these figures do not provide reliable trends in crime. For further information see Section 15: Strengths and limitations.

Police recorded crime in England and Wales in the year ending September 2023 was relatively stable with a 1% increase on the previous year. Overall, 6.7 million crimes were recorded in the year ending September 2023 compared with 6.6 million in the year ending September 2022. Notable increases were observed in shoplifting and fraud offences against businesses and other organisations (which are not included in the CSEW). Information on the investigative outcomes of crimes recorded by the police can be found in the Home Office's Crime outcomes in England and Wales publication

Crime survey and police recorded crime data can be used together to develop a more complete picture of crime (Table 1).

Table 1: Overview of main crime types

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Notes
  1. PRC and CSEW data for the year ending September 2022 and September 2023 are not designated as National Statistics.
  2. CSEW data relate to people aged 16 years and over. PRC data relate to crimes against individuals (including children), households, businesses, and society.
  3. Data on knife or sharp instrument offences exclude Greater Manchester Police for the whole timeseries back to the year ending March 2011 and exclude Devon and Cornwall Police for the years ending September 2022 to September 2023.
  4. Estimates for fraud, theft, violent crime and computer misuse are statistically significant at the 5% level. PRC figures are not subject to significance testing as they are not estimates but counts.
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3. Homicide

The police recorded 591 homicide offences in the year ending September 2023, a 9% decrease since the year ending September 2022 (651 offences).

The rate of homicide in the population for the year ending September 2023 remained low at 10 per 1 million people, compared with 11 per 1 million people in the year ending September 2022.

Of all recorded homicides in the year ending September 2023, the proportion of homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was the method of killing was 44%. This was a slight increase compared with 40% in the year ending September 2022 (proportions for homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was the method of killing exclude data from Greater Manchester and Devon and Cornwall police). 

For the latest analysis on homicide offences held within the Home Office Homicide Index, see our Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2022 article.

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4. Knife or sharp instrument offences

Police recorded crime provides a better measure than the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) of higher-harm but less common types of violence, such as those involving a knife or sharp instrument (knife-enabled crime). 

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Figures for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Devon and Cornwall Police are not included in the England and Wales and Regional totals of knife or sharp instrument offences for the years ending September 2022 and September 2023. GMP have been unable to supply offences involving knives or sharp instruments data for the July to September 2023 quarter because of an IT issue in processing these data. Additionally, following the implementation of a new IT system in November 2022, Devon and Cornwall Police have been unable to supply these data for the period, October 2022 to September 2023.

Knife-enabled crime recorded by the police in the year ending September 2023 increased by 5% (48,716 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (46,367 offences). Notable increases were seen in the number of robberies involving a knife or sharp instrument (up 19% compared with the previous year). However, knife-enabled crime overall was still 5% lower than pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels in the year ending March 2020 (51,228 offences). All figures exclude Devon and Cornwall and Greater Manchester Police. For further information see Section 15: Strengths and limitations.

The Metropolitan and West Midlands police force areas (PFAs) were the two areas with the highest volume of knife-enabled crime. Compared with the year ending September 2022, knife or sharp instrument offences recorded by the West Midlands saw an increase of 5% (to 5,239 offences), while the Metropolitan Police Service saw a 22% increase to 13,957 offences. However, levels for the Metropolitan Police were still 5% lower compared with the pre-pandemic year ending March 2020 (14,680 offences). 

Police recorded "possession of article with a blade or point" offences were 4% higher in the year ending September 2023 (27,846 offences) than the year ending September 2022 (26,903 offences). This trend could have been influenced by targeted police action to tackle knife crime.  

Other sources of data 

The latest provisional admissions data for NHS hospitals in England and Wales showed a decrease in the number of admissions for assault by a sharp object in the year ending September 2023 (3,768 admissions). This was 4% lower than the year ending September 2022 (3,934 admissions) and 21% below the pre-coronavirus pandemic year ending March 2020 (4,769 admissions).

Data related to stop and searches can be found in the Home Office's Police powers and procedures England and Wales statistics publication.

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5. Offences involving firearms

The police recorded 6,233 offences involving firearms in the year ending September 2023, a 3% increase compared with the year ending September 2022 (6,024 offences). These figures exclude Devon and Cornwall Police. For further information see Section 15, Strengths and limitations.

Offences involving firearms can be broken down by type of weapon. While there were decreases in most sub-categories, the use of imitation firearms, such as replica weapons and BB guns, rose by 24% to 2,659 offences. Offences involving these weapons have overtaken handguns as the most commonly used weapon in these crimes. All figures exclude Devon and Cornwall Police.

For data relating to offences involving weapons, see our Offences involving the use of weapons: data tables. For data relating to offences involving firearms, see our Crime in England and Wales: Other related tables.

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6. Violence

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides the best picture of the overall trends in violent crime experienced by the household population. There were an estimated 0.9 million violence offences in the year ending September 2023, no significant change compared with the year ending September 2022. However, this was 28% lower compared with the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year ending March 2020 (1.2 million offences). This was largely because of a 31% fall in violence with injury offences during this period. This follows a general downward trend in violent crime since its peak in 1995 (see Figure 6).

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Police recorded violence should be interpreted with caution as increases may reflect improvements made by police forces in identifying and recording offences, as well as an increase in victims reporting incidents. Police recorded violence does not provide reliable trends in crime but is a better indicator of police activity.

Overall, the police recorded 2.1 million offences of violence against the person in the year ending September 2023, a 3% decrease compared with the year ending September 2022. However, this was a 17% rise compared with the pre-coronavirus pandemic year ending March 2020 (1.8 million offences) and follows increases in police recorded violence against the person since 2015 after a report from His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (PDF, 1,106KB) highlighted under-recording of such offences. The decrease this year could suggest that improvements to recording practices are beginning to have less impact on trends in these offences

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In published crime statistics, violent crime, as measured by the CSEW, and police recorded crime differ. This includes large-volume crimes such as stalking and harassment, which the survey does not publish in its main estimates, but are included in the police figures. In the year to September 2023, stalking and harassment accounted for a third (33%) of all police recorded violence. For more information, see Section 4 of our User guide to crime statistics for England and Wales: March 2023

There were 678,746 stalking and harassment offences recorded by the police in the year ending September 2023. This was a 5% decrease from the year ending September 2022, following rises since the year ending March 2012.

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7. Domestic abuse and sexual offences

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides a more reliable measure of long-term trends in domestic abuse and sexual offences than police recorded crime data. 

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Domestic abuse-related crimes and sexual offences recorded by the police do not provide a reliable measure of trends in these types of crime. Improvements in police recording practices and increased reporting by victims have contributed to increases in recent years. The figures do, however, provide a good measure of the crime-related demand on the police. The crime survey estimates for domestic abuse and sexual assault for the year ending March 2023 are based on eight months of data collection because of an error in the survey, which resulted in missing data. Caution should be taken when using these data because of the impact of the reduced data collection period on the quality of the estimates. For more information, see Section 2.1 of our User guide to crime statistics for England and Wales: March 2023

Domestic abuse 

Latest available estimates from the CSEW showed that 4.4% of people aged 16 years and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2023. When analysing data over time, we use the 16 to 59 years age range to give a comparable time series. The CSEW for the year ending March 2023 estimated that 5.1% of people aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year. This was a significant decrease compared with the year ending March 2020 (6.1%). 

The police flagged 862,765 recorded offences as domestic abuse-related in the year ending September 2023. This represented a decrease of 4% compared with the year ending September 2022 (895,429 recorded offences). This included 681,136 violence against the person offences and 33,293 sexual offences that were flagged as domestic abuse-related. These figures exclude Devon and Cornwall Police. For further information see Section 15, Strengths and limitations.

Further information and data related to domestic abuse can be found in our Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview: November 2023 bulletin

Sexual offences 

Latest available estimates from the CSEW for the year ending March 2023 showed that 2.1% of people aged 16 years and over had experienced sexual assault (including attempted offences) in the last year. For analysing data over time, we use the 16 to 59 years age range to give a comparable time series.  

The CSEW for the year ending March 2023 estimated 2.7% of people aged 16 to 59 years had experienced sexual assault (including attempted offences) in the last year. There was no significant change compared with the year ending March 2022 (2.7%) or the year ending March 2020 (2.2%). The CSEW can also provide important context for police figures, for example latest estimates showed that fewer than one in six victims of rape or assault by penetration reported the crime to the police (Table 13 of our Nature of sexual assault by rape or penetration, England and Wales dataset).  

Police recorded sexual offences decreased by 3% in the year ending September 2023 (191,186 offences) compared with the previous year (198,106 offences). However, this was a 17% increase compared with the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year ending March 2020 (163,326 offences).  

Of all sexual offences recorded by the police in the year ending September 2023, 36% (67,938) were rape offences. This was a 4% decrease from 70,423 offences in the year ending September 2022. For a subset of forces supplying data to the Home Office Data Hub, 23% of all sexual offences, and 25% of adult rape offences, in the year ending September 2023, had taken place over a year prior to the incident being recorded. 

Further data related to sexual offences can be found in our Sexual offences in England and Wales overview: year ending March 2022 bulletin.

CSEW data on the prevalence of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking for the year ending March 2023 can be found in Tables S40 to S42 of our Crime in England and Wales: Annual supplementary tables, year ending March 2023.

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8. Theft, robbery and criminal damage

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is the most reliable indicator for long-term trends in the more common types of crime experienced by the general population, such as theft. However, police recorded crime data can give reliable indications of trends in some offences involving theft that are well-reported to the police (for example, burglary) and can provide better insight into emerging short-term trends. 

There were 2.7 million incidents of theft estimated by the CSEW for the year ending September 2023; no significant change compared with the previous year, but a 19% decrease compared with the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year ending March 2020 (3.3 million incidents). Large falls were seen across most theft subcategories in comparison to March 2020, including, domestic burglary (31%) "other theft of personal property" (23%), bicycle theft (23%), and vehicle-related theft (18%). 

Although there was no change to vehicle-related theft overall (which includes theft from a vehicle, theft of vehicles, and attempted theft of and from vehicles), the CSEW shows a 48% increase in theft of vehicles in the year ending September 2023, with an estimated 106,000 incidents compared with 72,000 incidents in the year ending September 2022. This reflects increases seen in police recorded theft or unauthorised taking of a vehicle. 

"Neighbourhood" crime, as defined in the Home Office's Beating crime plan, includes robbery and selected theft offences (theft from the person, domestic burglary, and vehicle-related theft). The CSEW estimated that there were 1.5 million "neighbourhood crime" incidents in the year ending September 2023, no change compared with the previous year, but a 22% decrease compared with the year ending March 2020.

Police recorded theft has increased by 9% (to 1.8 million offences) compared with the year ending September 2022. This rise was predominantly the result of increases in shoplifting offences. The year ending September 2023 saw a 32% increase in the number of shoplifting offences recorded compared with the previous year, with 402,482 offences compared with 304,459 offences in the year ending September 2022.

Increases were also seen in theft from the person offences, up by 18% to 120,146 offences and in the sub-category 'other theft', up by 6% to 357,361 offences. There was a slight increase in vehicle offences to 397,264 offences (up 2% compared with the previous year) including an 8% increase in theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle to 132,489 offences.

Similar to trends in the CSEW, the number of police recorded theft offences remain 8% lower than in the year ending March 2020 (1.9 million offences). Most subcategories were lower than the year ending March 2020. In particular, burglary offences remained 29% lower (273,076 offences) and vehicle offences overall remained 15% lower (397,264 offences) compared with the year ending March 2020.

However, there were notable increases in shoplifting (12%) compared with the year ending March 2020 and also increases in theft from the person (6%). Within the vehicle offences sub-category, theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle increased 17% compared with the year ending March 2020.

Police recorded burglary includes both residential and non-residential burglary, such as those committed against a business premises, and therefore differs from the residential burglary captured by the Crime Survey. Although total burglary remains comparable, a new classification of residential burglary offences was introduced in April 2023. This includes a breakdown of residential burglary from the main home and parts of buildings that are within the boundary of a dwelling.

Police recorded robbery increased by 12% (to 79,091 offences) in comparison with the year ending September 2022 (70,792 offences) but was 12% lower than in the year ending March 2020 (90,187 offences). Police recorded crime is our preferred measure for robbery as it is not thought to be subject to extensive changes in recording practice, whereas the CSEW estimates are subject to year-to-year volatility because of the small number of victims found within the sample.

There were approximately 674,000 incidents of criminal damage estimated by the CSEW for the year ending September 2023, a 21% decrease compared with the previous year (approximately 850,000 offences). Police recorded criminal damage also decreased by 5% (to 491,017 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (514,322 offences).

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9. Fraud

Estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year ending September 2023 showed that there were 3.2 million fraud offences. This was a 13% decrease compared with the year ending September 2022 survey (3.7 million offences). The CSEW can also provide important context for police figures. For example, the latest estimates shown in our Crime in England and Wales: Annual Trend and Demographic dataset showed that fewer than one in seven fraud offences were reported to the police or Action Fraud (the public-facing national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre).  

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Fraud offences investigated by the police are recorded and collected by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) from Action Fraud, Cifas, and UK Finance. Data from Action Fraud exclude Devon and Cornwall Police because of a system change affecting their ability to provide accurate data. UK Finance and Cifas are not affected by this issue. For further information see Section 15: Strengths and limitations

Similarly, Action Fraud (the public-facing national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre) reported a 4% decrease in fraud (297,980 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (309,469 offences). 

Despite these decreases, overall police recorded fraud was 6% higher (1.1 million offences) compared with the year ending September 2022. The increase in overall fraud was mainly influenced by a rise in offences reported by UK Finance, see Section 14: Measuring the data.

UK Finance reported a 22% increase (to 489,596 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (399,966 offences). This was a result of an increase in reporting from their existing members because of engagement from UK Finance. However, Cifas reported a 4% decrease in fraud (to 348,577 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (364,835 offences).

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10. Computer misuse

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides a better indication of the volume of computer misuse offences experienced by people aged 16 years and over than those reported to the police, as it captures incidents that go unreported to the police. The latest CSEW estimates, as shown in our Crime in England and Wales: Annual Trend and Demographic Tables dataset, showed that fewer than one in twenty computer misuse offences were reported to the police or Action Fraud.  

Estimates from the CSEW, for the year ending September 2023, showed that there were approximately 898,000 offences of computer misuse. This was a 30% increase from the year ending September 2022 (around 690,000 offences). This was similar to the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year ending March 2020 (876,000 offences). 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) record computer misuse offences and refer those with good investigative leads to the police for further investigation. The NFIB reported a 5% increase in computer misuse offences referred by Action Fraud (from 28,625 to 30,060 offences) for the year ending September 2023 compared with the year ending September 2022.

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11. Anti-social behaviour

Estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year ending September 2023 showed that 34% of people had experienced or witnessed some type of anti-social behaviour (ASB), this was similar to the year ending September 2022 (35%).  

The police recorded 1.0 million incidents of ASB in the year ending September 2023 (including the British Transport Police). This was an 8% decrease compared with the year ending September 2022 (1.1 million incidents).  

The CSEW also asks questions around individuals' perceptions of ASB in their local area, resulting in both a general and more specific measure based on a number of types of ASB. In the year ending September 2023, the CSEW estimated that 24% of people perceived ASB to be a fairly or very big problem in their local area (general measure) compared with 8% of people who perceived their local area had a high level of ASB. Since the year ending March 2013, the trends across both measures have remained consistent, with little change year on year.

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12. Crime data

Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables
Dataset | Released 25 January 2024
Trends in Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) crime experienced by people aged 16 and over and Home Office police recorded crime, by offence type. Also includes trends in offender relationship of CSEW violence. 

Crime in England and Wales: Other related tables
Dataset | Released 25 January 2024
Firearms, knife and sharp instrument offences, offences involving a corrosive substance, hospital admissions for assault with sharp objects, fraud, offences flagged as domestic abuse-related, corruption, child sexual abuse and child exploitation. Data tables also include information on anti-social behaviour, perceptions, and non-notifiable incidents. 

Crime in England and Wales: Police Force Area data tables
Dataset | Released 25 January 2024
The number of police recorded crimes, percentage change from previous year and rate per 1,000 population by offence group, firearms, knife and sharp instrument, fraud and anti-social behaviour offences by Police Force Area.

Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly data tables
Dataset | Released 25 January 2024
Data from Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and Home Office police recorded crime broken down into quarterly time periods. 

Crime in England and Wales: Recorded crime data by Community Safety Partnership area
Dataset | Released 25 January 2024
Recorded crime figures for Community Safety Partnership areas, which equate in the majority of instances, to local authorities. Contains the number of offences for the last two years, percentage change between these two time periods and rates per 1,000 population for the latest year.

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13. Glossary

Computer misuse 

Computer misuse is when fraudsters hack or use computer viruses or malware to disrupt services, obtain information illegally or extort individuals or organisations. 

Criminal damage 

Criminal damage results from any person who, without lawful excuse, destroys or damages any property belonging to another. This includes either intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged. 

Fraud 

Fraud involves a person dishonestly and deliberately deceiving a victim for personal gain of property or money or causing loss or risk of loss to another. The majority of incidents fall under the legal definition of "fraud by false representation", where a person makes a representation that they know to be untrue or misleading (for example, banking and payment card frauds and dating scams). Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates cover a broad range of fraud offences, including attempts, involving a loss and incidents not reported to the authorities. See the Glossary section of our Nature of fraud and computer misuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2022 article for definitions of the different fraud types. 

Overall theft offences 

CSEW theft offences include all personal and household crime where items are stolen, including theft from the person, other theft of personal property, domestic burglary, vehicle-related theft and bicycle theft. 

Robbery 

Robbery is an offence in which force, or the threat of force, is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft. Mugging is an informal term for robbery. In this bulletin, we use the term "robbery". 

Violent crime 

Violent crime covers a range of offence types from minor assaults, such as pushing and shoving that result in no physical harm, to murder. This includes offences where the victim was intentionally stabbed, punched, kicked, pushed or jostled, as well as offences where the victim was threatened with violence, regardless of injury. 

More information and further definitions can be found in the "offence type" section of our User guide to crime statistics for England and Wales: March 2023.

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14. Measuring the data

Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates continue to provide important information in relation to longer-term trends in crime from the year ending December 1981 to the year ending September 2023. 

The face-to-face CSEW was suspended on 17 March 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) was designed to continue measuring crime while the face-to-face CSEW was suspended. TCSEW data collection took place between 20 May 2020 and 31 March 2022. 

Face-to-face CSEW interviewing for people aged 16 years and over resumed on 4 October 2021. Crime estimates for the year ending September 2023 are produced from data collected between October 2022 to September 2023 and are based on 31,166 interviews. Data collected during this period include experiences of crime in the 12 months before the interview month, and therefore include crimes committed as early as October 2021. The year ending September 2022 (20,980 interviews) will include crimes committed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and as early as October 2020. 

Crime Survey estimates for the year ending March 2022 onwards are not designated as National Statistics. Caution should be taken when using these data because of the potential impact of lower response rates on data quality. For more information, see the Office for Statistics Regulation's Temporary suspension of National Statistics status for estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales note

Our Crime in England and Wales: appendix table A1 presents CSEW crime for the year ending September 2023. These estimates best reflect the current extent of crime and are directly comparable with the main CSEW time-series estimates. CSEW estimates can be compared with the year ending March 2020 estimates throughout this bulletin, the last time period for which CSEW data were published before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Police recorded crime 

Police recorded crime data are supplied to us by the Home Office, who are responsible for the collation of recorded crime data supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police. These data are supplied to the Home Office on a monthly basis for each crime within their notifiable offence list.

The recorded crime figures are collated through a live administrative system that is continually being updated as forces submit data. The data represent a "snapshot" of the live database taken on 12 December 2023 (for data up to the end of September 2023). 

Figures may differ slightly from those published in subsequent bulletins for the same period, although this does not mean that the figures previously published were inaccurate at the time that they were reported. Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics

A new data collection method, the National Data Quality Improvement Service (NDQIS), is now in use for two police collections, offences involving knives or sharp instruments and domestic abuse-related offences. NDQIS identifies offences that involved a knife or were domestic abuse-related rather than relying on a manually added marker. Currently, 41 police forces have switched to NDQIS for knife or sharp instrument offences. Two remaining police forces and the British Transport Police have yet to implement the new system (Staffordshire and Gloucestershire).  

From April 2023, police forces have begun using a new methodology (the National Data Quality Improvement Service; NDQIS) to help identify whether an offence was domestic abuse-related or not. So far, 28 forces (Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, City of London, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, Gwent, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Norfolk, North Wales, Nottinghamshire, South Wales, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, West Mercia and Wiltshire) have used NDQIS and further forces will be moving to the new methodology in future releases. The new methodology will lead to an increase in offences identified as being domestic abuse related. Data based on ten police forces on both the old and new NDQIS method showed that the number of additional offences that were identified as being domestic abuse related across these forces was 2%. Therefore, data for the latest year are not directly comparable with previous data. 

For more information on NDQIS, please see our Police recorded offences involving knives or sharp instruments: methodology changes.

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15. Strengths and limitations

Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) includes crimes that are not reported to, or recorded by the police, but is limited to crimes against people resident in households and does not cover all crime types.  

The CSEW is a better indicator of long-term trends for the crime types and population it covers than police recorded crime because it is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or police recording practices. The victimisation methodology and the crime types included in the main count of crime have remained comparable since the CSEW began in 1981. 

Police recorded crime 

Police recorded crime has wider offence coverage and population coverage than the CSEW. It is the primary source of local crime statistics and is a good measure of offences that are well reported to, and well recorded by, the police, including lower-volume crimes (for example, homicide). In addition, the time lag between occurrence of crime and reporting results tends to be short, providing an indication of emerging trends.

Police recorded crime excludes offences that are not reported to, or not recorded by, the police. Trends can be influenced by changes in recording practices, or police activity and public reporting of crime, making it difficult to make long-term comparisons. There are also concerns about the quality of recording and that crime is not recorded consistently across police forces or over time. 

For more information, see our Crime in England and Wales Quality and Methodology Information report

Issue with Devon and Cornwall Police recorded crime data 

Following the implementation of a new IT system in November 2022, Devon and Cornwall Police have been unable to supply data for the period, October 2022 to September 2023 for the following offences: knife or sharp instruments, firearms, those flagged as domestic abuse related and those recorded by Action Fraud.  

Issue with Greater Manchester Police recorded crime data 

Figures for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are not included in the England and Wales and Regional totals of knife or sharp instrument offences for the years ending September 2022 and September 2023. GMP have been unable to supply offences involving knives or sharp instruments data for the July to September 2023 quarter because of an IT issue in processing these data. 

Violent crime 

In published crime statistics, violent crime as measured by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime differ. This includes large-volume crimes such as stalking and harassment, which the survey does not publish in its main estimates of crime but are in the police figures. For more information, see Section 4 of our User guide to crime statistics for England and Wales: March 2023.

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17. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 25 January 2024, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Crime in England and Wales, year ending September 2023

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Pete Jones
crimestatistics@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 2075 928695