Crime

Understanding the impact of crime on society through data

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Just as the nature of crime evolves, so must the data sources we rely on to capture its true nature and extent. If you’ve listened to the media you may have got the impression that overall crime in England and Wales is at record levels, but do the statistics back that up, or has crime actually been falling? Or is it the case that the nature of crime has simply changed over the last few decades, meaning we’re now more likely to be targeted online than in the streets? 

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Understanding the impact of the pandemic on crime

Met Police officers on duty during the pandemic

The impact of lockdown restrictions on levels of crime is one of the lesser told stories of the coronavirus pandemic. With large parts of the population asked to stay in their homes, so-called traditional crimes such as burglary and robbery decreased. However, this was offset by rises in fraud as criminals exploited changing behaviours and more reliance of online and phone services. Meghan Elkin explains how the first comparable figures to before the pandemic help us understand whether there are sustained impacts on levels of crime.

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A better understanding of the scale of domestic abuse during the pandemic

Pictured is a victim of domestic violence

The Office for National Statistics has been working to bring together data sources to provide the best understanding of the scale of domestic abuse, sexual offences and violence against women and girls. However, the impact of the pandemic on survey collection has meant a data gap in understanding the sheer prevalence of these crimes. The ONS has now published its first estimates of domestic abuse and sexual assault in two years. Meghan Elkin explains why a note of caution should be taken in interpreting these statistics.

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