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Crime in the UK - Statistics & Facts

There were just under 5.5 million crime offences recorded by the police in in England and Wales in 2020/21, which was the lowest figure recorded since 2016/17. During the same time period, there were around 228.5 thousand crimes in Scotland, and a further 100 thousand in Northern Ireland. Between 2003/04 and 2013/14 crime levels fell across England and Wales, from just over six million offences to a low of around four million. The trend was reversed after this point with significant yearly increases after 2013/14, leading to a peak of 6.08 million offences by 2019/20. Due to population growth, however, the crime rate in England and Wales for 2019/20 was actually lower than it was in the early 2000s.

What is driving the increase in crimes in the UK?

The sharp increase in crimes in recent years which came after significant reductions almost certainly has multiple causes, but one of the main factors is likely the cuts to public services imposed across the UK when the government was implementing austerity measures. Crime figures began to increase just as funding for the police hit a low of 16.35 billion British pounds in 2013/14, with funding not increasing by any significant amount until 2017/18. One of the main consequences of these spending cuts was a reduction in the number of police officers after 2010. Another factor driving the overall crime increase is the sudden increase in certain types of crime, such as sexual offences, which rose significantly after 2012/13. The fact that sexual crimes were often under-reported in the past combined with the new investigations into historic sex offences has driven some of this increase.

Homicides in the UK

While overall crime figures have almost reached levels not seen since the early 2000s, the number of homicides in 2019/20 was 716, compared with over one thousand in 2002/03. During the same time period, the homicide rate fell from 20.5 per million people, to 12.1, with the homicide rates for Scotland and Northern Ireland seeing significant declines. By contrast, London has seen a significant rise in homicides, with 145 recorded in 2019/20, compared with 93 in 2014/15. In 2019/20, however, two regions of England had higher homicide rates than London, North West England, which contains the major UK cities of Manchester and Liverpool and East England. The tragic discovery of 39 dead migrants in a lorry in Essex is one of the main reasons why this region had such a homicide rate in this reporting year.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 65 most important statistics relating to "Crime in the UK".


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