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Comprises offences from the main recorded crime series (violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery), British Crime Survey (BCS) violence, and supplementary police collections on homicide (the Homicide Index), firearms offences and knife crime.


An Overview of Sexual Offending in England & Wales
Department: Justice
Presents statistics on sexual offending in England and Wales at key points through the Criminal Justice System . This statistical bulletin has been compiled jointly by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, and Office for National Statistics.
Atlas of Deprivation: England
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Indices of Multiple Deprivation for England combine a number of areas, chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues into a single deprivation score for each Lower Layer Super Output Area in England. The Atlas of Deprivation allows a map visualisation of the overall LSOA deprivation score (rank) and the score (rank) for each of the seven domains by local authority.
Crime Statistics
Department: Office for National Statistics
Crime statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales and police recorded crime.
Crime in England and Wales: Annual report
Department: Home Office
Presents the financial year crime statistics from the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime.
Crime in England and Wales: Supplementary Volume 2
Department: Home Office
Detailed analysis of police recorded homicides and firearms offences.
Experience of Sexual Violence and Abuse: Findings from the Northern Ireland Crime Survey
Department: Justice (Northern Ireland)
Data derived from 'self completed' victim forms by respondents to Northern Ireland Crime Survey - a representative , personal interview survey of the experiences and perceptions of crime throughout Northern Ireland. This publication has now been retired: no future editions will be published.
Homicide in Scotland
Department: Scottish Government
This bulletin presents statistics on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland. It covers all cases of murder and culpable homicide, but excludes cases of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving.
Police Service of Northern Ireland Annual Statistics: Security and Terrorism in Northern Ireland
Department: Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
Financial Year statistics on the Security Situation in Northern Ireland.
Statistics on Deaths Reported to Coroners, England and Wales
Department: Justice
The annual release presents statistics on the work of coroners in England and Wales. Data are obtained from manual statistical returns submitted by all coroners under the Coroners Act 1988. The release presents figures on deaths reported to coroners, inquests and post-mortems held, and finds reported to coroners under treasure legislation.

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Police recorded violent crime

Violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery. Violence against the person contains the full spectrum of assaults, from pushing and shoving (no physical harm) to murder. Important measure of local activity and a source of operational information to help identify and address local crime problems.

British Crime Survey (BCS) Violence

The BCS provides a better reflection of the true extend of violent crime than police recorded statistics because the survey includes crimes that are not reported to or recorded by the police. It also provides more robust trends in violent crime, enabling better comparisons over time for the types of violence that it routinely covers. The BCS is not affected by changes in reporting, police recording and local policing activity, and has been measured in a consistent way since the survey began in 1981.

British Crime Survey (Self-completion Module)


A separate collection from the main recorded crime collection, containing more detailed individual record data on each homicide in England and Wales. Figures are published annually in Homicides, Firearm offences and Intimate Violence: Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales.

Firearms offences

Supplementary recorded crime collection containing more detailed individual record data on each recorded offence involving the use of a firearm. Final figures are published annually in the Homicides, Firearm offences and Intimate Violence: Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales, with provisional quarterly figures in Quarterly Updates.

Knife crime

Supplementary recorded crime collection containing aggregate data from 2007/08 on selected violent and sexual offences involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument. Published in both Crime in England and Wales and Quarterly Updates.

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Technical Data

Violence against the person

Police recorded violence against the person is separated into two subcategories:

  • violence against the person with injury (including homicide, attempted murder, grevious bodily harm (both with and without intent) and actual bodily harm)

  • violence against the person without injury (including threats to kill, assault without injury and harassment)

The above also include attempts and threats to commit those offences.

  • The British Crime Survey (BCS) covers a range of violent offences, classified into the groups of robbery, wounding, assault with minor injury and assault with no injury. 

Sexual offences

Police recorded sexual offences cover different types of unlawful sexual activity, including rape and sexual assault. Some of the offences do not necessarily involve violence: unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 16 or with a mental disorder, for example. There are two subcategories:

  • most serious sexual crime (including rapes, sexual assaults, and sexual activity with children)

  • other sexual offences (including soliciting, exploitation of prostitution, and other unlawful sexual activity)

Because of the small numbers of sexual offences picked up by face-to-face BCS interviews, results are not routinely reported. However, since 2004/05 the BCS has included a self-completion module which asks respondents their experiences of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking. This method produces more reliable figures than are obtained form face-to-face interviews and includes experiences of victims who did not report the incident to the police. 

The BCS reports on two main categories of sexual assault:

  • Serious sexual assault (including rape, assault by penetration and attempts of both)
  • Less serious sexual assault (including indecent exposure, sexual touching and sexual threats).


Police recorded robberies cover a wide range of seriousness from armed bank robberies to muggings for mobile phones or small amounts of money.

The BCS covers robberies against adults living in private households. However, as one of the rarer crimes, any BCS figures relating to robbery should be treated with caution because of the low number of victims involved.

BCS violence type

Violent crime as measured by the BCS can alternatively be divided into four types, broadly based on the relationship between the victim and offender:

  • domestic violence – violent incidents committed by partners, ex-partners, other relatives or other household members

  • stranger violence – violent incidents in which the victim did not have any information about the offender(s), or did not know and had never seen the offender(s) before

  • acquaintance violence – violent incidents in which the victim knew one or more of the offenders, at least by sight

  • mugging – robbery, attempted robbery, and snatch theft from the person (snatch theft is not included in the overall violence measure)

Trends in police recorded violent crime

Trends in police recorded violent crime can be very difficult to interpret, as they have been distorted by a number of factors. It is important to consider the following issues when interpreting trends:

  • police recorded crime data are subject to changes in the levels of public reporting of incidents

  • local policing activity and priorities affect the levels of reported and recorded violent crime

  • police recorded crime data are subject to changes in police recording practices, including those relating to national counting rules and crime recording standards

The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), introduced in April 2002, resulted in increased recording of violent and sexual crimes particularly for less serious offences, as well as for some other offences. There was an estimated NCRS effect of 23 per cent on violence against the person offences in the first 12 months of implementation, with further effects in subsequent years. Therefore it is not possible to accurately assess trends using police recorded figures across this recording change.

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  • Assault on a constable

    A separate category within recorded crime. In the British Crime Survey (BCS), these offences would fall within assault with minor injury or no injury categories. Recorded crime figures also include racially or religiously aggravated assault on a constable.

  • Assault with minor injury and with no injury

    In the BCS, an assault with minor injury is one where the victim was punched, kicked, pushed or jostled and the incident resulted in minor injury to the victim (minor scratches or bruises). An assault with no injury includes similar incidents (or attempts) which resulted in no injury to the victim. These categories replace the BCS category of common assault, which has been used in previous publications. The BCS does not measure assaults against those aged under 16 years old and those not living in private households, this being a caveat on all personal crimes. However, experimental statistics in extending the BCS to estimate the levels of victimisation experienced by 10 to 15 year olds have now been published.

  • Confidence interval

    The range of values between which the population parameter is estimated to lie. Surveys produce statistics that are estimates of the real figure for the population under study. These estimates are always surrounded by a margin of error of plus or minus a given range. At the 95 per cent confidence level, over many repeats of a survey under the same conditions, one would expect that these confidence intervals would contain the true population value in 95 times out of 100. When assessing the results of a single survey it is assumed that there is a 1 in 20 chance that the true population value will fall outside the 95 per cent confidence interval calculated for the survey estimate.

  • Counting rules

    Instructions issued to the police by the Home Office on how the police should count and classify crime. Recorded crime figures in this publication are based on the counting rules that came into force on 1 April 1998. These rules were updated following the introduction on 1 April 2002 of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) National Crime Recording Standard devised by ACPO in collaboration with Home Office statisticians.

  • Homicide

    Comprises the recorded crimes of murder, manslaughter and infanticide. The published figures do not separately identify between these categories since, at the time an offence is recorded by the police, the circumstances surrounding the offence may not necessarily be known. Whether an offence is murder or manslaughter may be decided once an offender has been apprehended and appeared in court. The British Crime Survey (BCS), by its nature (that is, being reliant on victim interviews), cannot include homicide.

  • National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS)

    Instigated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), with the collaboration of Home Office statisticians, it aims to promote greater consistency between police forces in the recording of crime and to take a more victim-orientated approach to crime recording. Under the NCRS, where a member of the public reports a crime, the police must record it providing ‘there is no credible evidence to the contrary’. Although some forces adopted the Standard early, it was officially introduced across England and Wales on 1 April 2002, though audits indicated that in some forces it took two to three years to be implemented.

  • Sampling error

    A sample, as used in the British Crime Survey (BCS), is a small-scale representation of the population from which it is drawn. As such, the sample may produce estimates that differ from the figures that would have been obtained if the whole population had been interviewed. The size of the error depends on the sample size, the size and variability of the estimate, and the design of the survey. It can be computed and used to construct confidence intervals. Sampling error is also taken into account in tests of statistical significance.

  • Statistical significance

    Because the British Crime Survey (BCS) estimates are subject to sampling error, differences between estimates from successive years of the survey or between population subgroups may occur by chance. Tests of statistical significance are used to identify which differences are unlikely to have occurred by chance. In this publication, tests at the 5 per cent significance level have been applied (the level at which there is a one in 20 chance of an observed difference being solely due to chance). Statistical significance for change in all BCS crime cannot be calculated in the same way as for other BCS figures.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Crime Statistics

Email: crimestats.rds@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7035 6823

Home Office 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF

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