The recently published 2011 Crime Survey for England and Wales asked 50,000 people for their direct experiences of crime.
Interestingly, the Crime Survey showed that people think crime is getting worse – but not where they live. It’s the perception gap between what we know is going on and what we think is going on.
It has been suggested that the growing availability of increasing media coverage in everybody’s day-to-day lives has a lot to do with this.
These latest crime figures for England and Wales were, for the first time, published by the Office for National Statistics rather than the Home Office.
Now known as the Crime Survey for England and Wales, the figures cover the period up to the end of 2011 and show that, despite an overall fall in crime, muggings and street robberies are up.
The Crime Survey however summarized that there had been ‘no statistically significant change in overall crime’, since 2010 or any year since 2005.
The survey is regarded as more authoritative than the official police figures, which historically under-record the true level of crime.
The number of crimes recorded by the police fell by 3%, from 4,159,553 to 4,043,339, in the year ending December 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.
The police detection rate, which is when a suspect has been identified and interviewed and there is sufficient evidence to bring a charge, remained at 28% in 2010/11. So, still under a third of all crimes get solved.
Muggings and street robberies increased by 8% last year while violence against the person decreased by 7%. Domestic burglaries dropped by 3% and car thefts increased by 2%.
Of the 636 murders in 2010/11, 64% were known to their victim and 33% were friends. 60% of murders were caused by a quarrel and loss of temper and only 3% were as a result of theft or robbery. The biggest single number used a sharp instrument, such as a knife, for the murder weapon.
36 out of 56 of child murder victims are killed by a parent and 43 of those 56 victims knew their murderer. The same applies to total murders where 64% of killers were known to their victim and 33% were friends.
The Home Office said the August riots had only a small impact on the overall crime rate, partly because of the way the official counting rules operate. The official police figures link about 5,000 offences to the riots, including 184 incidents of violent disorder, but do not actually class any of them as riot.
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