1. Correction

20 February 2015 at 4:00pm

After identifying an error in published tables a minor revision has been made to this release. The error relates to numbers and rates of firearm offences for the following police force areas: Kent, Humberside, Kent, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, and Devon and Cornwall.

Revisions have been made to reference tables 3.01-3.14 (within reference table 02. Appendix Tables – Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2013/14), as well as figures 3.1, 3.2, 3.4-3.8 and table 3.2 in the statistical bulletin (also contained in reference table 01. Bulletin Tables – Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2013/14).

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2. Key points

  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) continues to show steady declines in violent crime over the last 20 years. Between the 1995 and the 2013/14 surveys, the number of violent crime incidents has fallen from 3.8 million in 1995 to 1.3 million in 2013/14

  • Violent crime victimisation rates have fallen by more than half since peak levels of crime in the mid-1990s. In 1995 4.8% of adults aged 16 and over were a victim of violent crime in the previous year, compared with 1.8% in the 2013/14 survey

  • Homicide has also shown a general downward trend since 2002/03. The number of currently recorded homicides for 2013/14 (526) and 2011/12 (528) were the lowest since 1989 (521). The number of homicides in 2013/14 was equivalent to 9.2 offences per million population

  • As in previous years, children under one year old had the highest rate of homicide (23.9 offences per million population) compared with other age groups. With the exception of those aged under one year, adults generally had higher incidence rates of being a victim of homicide than children

  • The numbers of sexual offences (64,205) in 2013/14 was the highest recorded by the police since 2002/03. As well as improvements in recording, this is thought to reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes. The CSEW has not seen a rise in the prevalence of sexual assault. The latest estimates show a small fall in sexual assault victimisation rates compared with the previous year

  • In 2013/14, there were 7,709 offences in which firearms were involved, a 5% decrease compared with 2012/13. Offences involving knives or sharp instruments fell by 2% between 2012/13 and 2013/14 (to 25,972). These falls follow a sustained downward trend over a number of years

  • The profile of victims of violent crime and sexual violence varied according to the type of offence. The CSEW showed that young men were most likely to be the victims of violence, while in contrast young women were more likely to have experienced sexual assault (including attempts)

  • Women were also more likely to be a victim of domestic abuse, with 8.5% of women and 4.5% of men having experienced domestic abuse in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.4 million female victims and 700,000 male victims

  • In 2013/14, as in previous years, around two-thirds of homicide victims (65%) were male. In contrast, victims killed by a partner or ex-partner were more likely to be women

  • Victims perceived the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in 53% of violent incidents. This is equivalent to an estimated 704,000 ‘alcohol-related’ violent incidents. While the volume of violent incidents that were ‘alcohol-related’ has fallen over time the proportion has remained relatively steady over the last ten years. Alcohol was a particularly prevalent factor in violent incidents between strangers, 64% of which were perceived to be alcohol-related

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3. Introduction

This release is a collaboration between ONS and Home Office analysts. It explores a variety of official statistics on violent crime and is based on interviews carried out on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in the year to March 2014 and crimes recorded by the police period over the same period. Trend analysis from both sources is included.

This release is split into five chapters, each covering a different aspect of violent crime. The first chapter provides an overview of violent crime, summarising the extent and range of violent crime together with an analysis of long term trends. It also explores information such as the characteristics of the victim and the offender, as well as where and when incidents took place.

The second chapter presents analyses of data gathered from the Home Office Homicide Index which includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide. The chapter discusses trends in homicide and puts the latest figures in the context of international comparisons. It also provides details on the characteristics of victims and suspects.

The third chapter presents findings on the use of weapons in selected offences recorded by the police including firearms, knives and sharp instruments. It includes information on how they are used, and the injuries caused, as well as describing the geographical distribution of these offences.

The fourth chapter uses data from a self-completion section on the 2013/14 CSEW which asks about experience of sexual and domestic violence. It describes offences occurring in the 12 months before the interview as well as those taking place since age 16. The chapter explores aspects of serious sexual assault and attitudes to sexual violence.

The final chapter presents findings from the 2013/14 CSEW on violent incidents where alcohol has been a factor. Additional analysis on the nature of alcohol-related violence is also provided from the combined datasets of the 2012/13 and 2013/14 CSEW. This chapter also presents some information on alcohol-related violent crime recorded by the police.

The Data sources and references section and User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales give more details on each of the sources used in this release.

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.Background notes

  1. If you have any queries regarding crime statistics for England and Wales please email crimestatistics@ons.gov.uk.

  2. A list of the organisations given pre-publication access to the contents of this bulletin can be found on ONS’ website.

  3. In accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.

  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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View all data in this compendium

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John Flatley
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