According to recorded police figures for England and Wales, violent crime * has risen by a total of 24% in the 12 months to June compared to the previous year.
However, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the 24% increase in violent crime was essentially a result of increased coverage and improvements to recording practices. Yet the ONS did conclude that there had been “a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime”.
Violent crime figures for July 2015 – June 2016
The number of murders committed in England and Wales increased to 681, a rise of 20% compared the previous year. This is the highest recorded level in five years. However, the murder rate does include the 96 individuals who lost their lives at Hillsborough in 1989 after the official inquests came to an end this year.
When the 96 Hillsborough deaths are excluded, the data shows 584 people were killed in England and Wales in the year to June – just 3% rise on the previous 12 months. This works out as 10 people in every million, which is lower than a decade ago (14 per million).
Police figures confirm that the number of reported sexual crimes, including rape and sexual assault, has increased by 14% compared to the previous year. Police and prosecutors believe that the rise in reported cases indicates that people are more willing to report sexual attacks after recent high profile historical cases have come to light, such as the Jimmy Saville sexual abuse scandal.
The figures also show a 9% rise in knife crime and a 7% rise in gun crime, the latter mainly due to an increase in offences involving imitation weapons and BB gun-type air pistols.
Decrease in Overall Crime
This latest report on crime in England and Wales by the ONS includes offences recorded by the police, as well as the results of the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales.
Figures from the Crime Survey show that the overall crime rate actually decreased by 1%. The survey estimated there was a total of 6.5 million incidents in the 12 months to June compared with the previous year.
Estimates from the Crime Survey also showed the proportion of adults who were victims of sexual assaults in the previous year had not changed considerably.
The ONS also published its second ever estimate for online crime, including fraud and computer misuse offences. In total, 5.6 million incidents were recorded.
John Flatley of the ONS said:
“Violent crime covers a wide spectrum from minor assaults, harassment and abuse that result in no physical harm to the victim through to incidents of wounding and murder.
“The latest figures present a complex picture, with the crime survey for England and Wales estimating similar levels of violent crime to that seen in recent years, but the number of offences recorded by the police increasing.
“We think the rise in the police figures is due to a combination of factors. First, the expansion of the police series to cover new harassment offences. Second, a greater proportion of incidents reported to the police being recorded as crimes.
“At the same time, the crime survey has shown a greater proportion of victims of violent crime reporting to the police. Finally, it appears there has been a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime.”
*The term violent crime covers a wide range of incidents from minor assaults, harassment and abuse that may not result in any physical harm to the victim, to incidents of wounding and murder.
Criminal Injuries – Expert Advice
Criminal injuries compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.
We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.
There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email email@example.com.