ONS Centre for Crime and Justice Newsletter - May 2020

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May 2020

ONS Centre for Crime and Justice Newsletter

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Welcome to the May edition of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice newsletter, which includes news on recent and upcoming releases and events, and updates on the work we have been doing in the last 6 months.

Look out for the next edition in November.

COVID-19 and the production of statistics

ONS is working to ensure that the UK has the vital information needed to respond to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our economy and society. We will need to ensure that information is provided faster, using new data sources and changing how our surveys operate, to ensure we provide the information necessary as the situation unfolds. We will keep users informed.

Face to face interviews for the Crime Survey in England and Wales (CSEW) were suspended in mid-March, as part of the efforts to minimise social contact and stop the spread of COVID-19. Current plans are to have a telephone survey running in May 2020, with an ambition to provide initial results by the end of July 2020. This will not affect the results for the first quarter of 2020, planned for release in July 2020.

Read the ONS statement in full here

What's new in ONS Crime and Justice statistics?

Crime in England and Wales: year ending December 2019:

The level of crime has remained broadly stable in recent years; the latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate a fall of 5% in the year ending December 2019. Police recorded crime data (excluding data from Greater Manchester Police for this quarter) give more insight into the lower-volume but higher-harm crime types and shows more of a mixed picture with a 3% decrease in recorded offences involving firearms but a 7% increase in the number of offences involving knives or sharp instruments.

Child abuse in England and Wales: March 2020:

For the first time, we have compiled a range of indicators from different data sources to enable better understanding of the extent and circumstances of child abuse. Our statistics on abuse experienced in childhood in England and Wales include data on sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

Modern Slavery in the UK: March 2020:

Because of its hidden nature, producing an accurate measure of prevalence is difficult. Currently, there is no definitive source of data or suitable method available to accurately quantify the number of victims of modern slavery in the UK. Instead, this article brings together a range of available data sources on known victims and cases to provide a better understanding of the extent and nature of this crime.

Nature of fraud and computer misuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2019:

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows that there were an estimated 3.8 million incidents of fraud and an estimated 1.0 million incidents of computer misuse in the year ending March 2019.

Offences involving the use of firearms: year ending March 2019:

In the year ending March 2019, there were 9,787 offences in which firearms were involved; this is a 4% increase compared with the previous year.

Homicides in England and Wales: year ending March 2019:

There were 671 victims of homicide in the year ending March 2019, 33 fewer (5%) than the previous year, the first fall since the year ending March 2015.

Latest Quarterly Bulletin Highlights

Overview of main crime types - year ending December 2019

fig 2 29-4


Crime statistics are available at a number of different geographies. Below are links to Police Force Area (PFA) and Community Safety Partnership (CSP) level crime data.

  • Police Force Area data tables  - Data from police recorded crime. Shows the number of police recorded crimes, percentage change from previous year and rate per 1,000 population by offence group and knife and sharp instrument offences by Police Force Area.
  • Recorded crime data by Community Safety Partnership area - 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.

Devolved countries

For crime and justice statistics relating to other UK countries, please see the links below:

Upcoming publications

  • Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2020 - 16 July 2020
  • Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2020 - October 2020

See the ONS release calendar

Other related Crime and Justice Statistics

Home Office (HO) produce statistics on crime outcomes, arrests made by the police and other powers, number of police officers and other aspects of police personnel; HO also publish police recorded crime by Community Safety Partnership area within their police recorded crime open data tables.

Ministry of Justice produce statistics for England and Wales on the courts, prison population, perpetrators and reoffending.

If you have any questions around these publications, both government departments can be contacted at the following email addresses:

Home Office: CrimeandPoliceStats@homeoffice.gov.uk

Ministry of Justice: ESD@justice.gov.uk

Accessing our data

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) microdata are made available through the UK Data Service and the Secure Research Service (SRS):

  • UK Data Service – End User Licence versions of the datasets are available through the UK Data service going back to 1983.
  • Secure Research Service – Approved researchers can access the CSEW microdata through the SRS, giving them access to more sensitive data, for example, the self completion module. Data are available back to 2012/13 with further years being made available towards the end of this year.

Useful links

You may also find the links below useful:

  • Centre for Crime and Justice - the Centre for Crime and Justice aims to improve understanding of the extent and nature of crime in our society by developing our statistics of the latest trends using all available sources
  • National Statistical - news and insight from the ONS
  • New ONS Twitter account @ONSFocus - On 27 January ONS launched a new Twitter account, @ONSFocus. @ONSFocus is the official platform for news and discussion about what’s happening at the ONS. It is designed for everyone with an in interest in the numbers that matter most and how they are produced. While the main @ONS account will continue to be the place to find out statistics, the new channel will be the place for talk about the ONS itself.
  • Follow the Crime statistician's ONS Twitter account




We’re always interested in improving our understanding of how our data is used by different customers; if you’d like to get in touch with any wider feedback for us, on either our publications or this newsletter, please email us at crimestatistics@ons.gov.uk, or call us on +44 (0)20 7592 8695



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Contact us

Should you have any questions about the content of this newsletter, please email us at crimestatistics@ons.gov.uk , or call us on +44 (0)20 7592 8695.