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Crime Statistics

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many victims of crime there were (a) in total, (b) in each police authority area and (c) in each local authority area in each of the last 25 years. (93666)

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is a national victimisation survey covering crime in England and Wales since 1981. Estimates of victimisation by police force area have been available through the BCS only since 2001-02. Figures are reported annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin ‘Crime in England and Wales'.

There is no figure for the overall numbers of victims as certain crimes are against households (such as burglary or some forms of vandalism) and thus affect an undefined number of people. This is true both of police recorded crime and BCS figures. The best indicator is therefore given by the number of incidents of crime in England and Wales estimated by the BCS which are shown in the attached table going back to 1981. The estimates of prevalence for each police force area from 2001-02 to 2005-06 can be found within the web pages devoted to each of the annual Crime in England and Wales statistical bulletins (incident estimates are not available by police force area). The figures cannot be broken down by local authority area.

2005-06 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew0506.html

2004-05 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew0405.html

2003-04 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew0304.html

2002-03 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew0203.html

2001-02 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/crimeew1.html

The estimate of victimisation in England and Wales is now at the lowest level it has been since 1981, and has fallen by 44 per cent. since its peak in 1995. The number of crimes in England and Wales in 2005-06 is estimated as 10,912,000, 8.4 million fewer crimes than in 1995.

Trends in incidents of crime in England and Wales, 1981 to 2005-06 BCS

Year1

All BCS crime (thousand)

Unweighted base2

1981

11,041

10,905

1983

11,913

11,030

1987

13,387

10,392

1991

15,142

10,059

1993

18,483

14,520

1995

19,351

16,337

1997

16,712

14,937

1999

15,015

19,398

2001-02

12,618

32,787

2002-03

12,341

36,450

2003-04

11,725

37,891

2004-05

10,850

45,069

2005-06

10,912

47,729

1 In 2001-02 the BCS moved to a continuous format and estimates are reported for interviews conducted in each financial year based on crimes experienced in the 12 months prior to interview.

2 The BCS is a sample survey of adults resident in private households and the unweighted base gives the number of adults interviewed on which estimates are based.