July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime
The latest National Statistics on crime in England and Wales are released today. They are based on interviews from the British Crime Survey (BCS) and crimes recorded by the police in the financial year 2009/10. They include statistical data on the rate of violent and sexual crime.
Provisional data show the police recorded 615 homicides in 2009/10. This is a fall of 6% compared with the previous year. Attempted murders increased by 2%, to 588, in 2009/10.
Police recorded sexual offences increased by 6% between 2008/09 and 2009/10.
This increase needs, however, to be interpreted with caution. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has been taking steps to enhance the recording of serious sexual offences and this has culminated in inclusion of good practice guidance in the Home Office Counting Rules for crime from April 2010.
While these were not formally in place in 2009/10, the figures for 2009/10 may reflect initiatives undertaken by forces over the last year as they anticipated their introduction.
The BCS provides estimates of the proportion of adults who have been a victim of sexual offences via an additional self-completion module. These figures show that there was not a statistically significant change in the proportion of men and women aged 16 to 59 who were victims of sexual assault in the last year compared with the 2008/09 BCS.
The 2009/10 BCS shows that 1% of men and 2% of women in the 16 to 59 age range were victims of a sexual assaults, with the majority of these assaults being less serious.
Provisional figures on police recorded firearm offences show a 3% fall between 2008/09 and 2009/10. Firearm offences have shown a downward trend following rises between 2002/03 and 2005/06.
The fall over the last year was largely due to a decrease in offences involving a handgun, which fell by 13%. The number of injuries resulting from firearm offences increased by 8% between 2008/09 and 2009/10 (from 1,764 to 1,901). This follows a 46% fall in firearm offence injuries last year.
Comparable year-on-year figures for selected violent knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by the police are published for the first time. There was a 7% fall in knife and sharp instrument offences between 2008/09 and 2009/10, from 36,335 offences to 33,771. The police provisionally recorded 205 knife and sharp instrument homicides in 2009/10, a fall from the 255 recorded in 2009/10.
The police recorded 75,101 robberies in 2009/10, a fall of 6% on the previous year. As the number of people interviewed by the BCS who have experienced robbery is relatively low, estimates for robbery tend to fluctuate from year-to year.
For context the 2009/10 BCS showed a non-statistically significant increase of 23% in BCS robberies (this follows a 13% non-significant reduction in the 2008/09 BCS compared with 2007/08).