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Crime rate in the United Kingdom 2002-2020

The crime rate of the United Kingdom in 2019/20 was 96.4 per thousand people, compared with 110 in 2002/03. During this time period the crime rate of England and Wales has been the highest in the UK, while Scotland's crime rate has improved the most, falling from 82.6 crimes per thousand people in 2002/03, to just 45.1 by 2018/19.

Overall crime on the rise

In 2017/18 there were approximately 5.87 million crimes recorded by the police in the United Kingdom, representing the highest figure since 2006/07 when there were around 5.97 million. In fact, since 2013/14 when there were just 4.4 million crimes, there has been year-on-year increases, following an almost constant trend of declining crime between the early 2000s and mid-2010s.

Is austerity to blame?

After the 2010 General Election in the UK the government adopted a fiscal policy which sought to reduce public spending across almost all government departments. Between 2009/10 and 2013/14 government spending on the Police Service fell from 19.3 billion to 16.35 billion. As a result of the decline in spending, police officer numbers declined by approximately 20 thousand in the same time period.

Crime rate per 1,000 population in the United Kingdom from 2002/03 to 2019/20, by country

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Release date

November 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2020

Supplementary notes

Crime reports for the following countries include the country-specific crime figures, which were used to calculate or the entire UK.

England & Wales
Northern Ireland

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Statistics on "Crime in London (UK)"

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