19% Increase in Violent Offences in England and Wales Last Year
Recent data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown a 13% increase in all police-recorded offences across England and Wales for the 12 months up to the end of June 2017. An even higher increase of 19% has been recorded for the number of violent offences logged by the police, such as knife crime, sexual offences and violence against the person.
This is the largest annual rise for crime in England and Wales in a decade and comes as Home Office data shows the number of police officers is the lowest since 1985.
Despite the rise in crime recorded by the police, the Independent Crime Survey of England and Wales, which is based on this public’s experience of crime, showed a 7% drop in crime on a whole. These results are based on a face-to-face survey of 38,000 adults and children, in which they are asked about their experiences of crime in the previous year. These reports can include crimes that are never reported to the police.
Whilst the ONS believe that the Crime Survey remains the best guide to long-term trends for crime experienced by the population in general and whilst it is accepted that the improvements made by police forces in recording crime are also a factor in the increase, it is acknowledged that the Crime Survey, taken from a relatively limited sample, is less effective at providing a good indication of changes in low-volume offences. These include the most serious forms of violent crime, emerging trends or low-incidence, but more harmful, categories of crime.
Although low in volume, the types of violent crime on the increase, which include crimes involving weapons, is a cause for concern. The reported increase in violent crime includes a 27% rise in gun crime, a 26% increase in knife crime, a 25% increase in robberies, a 19% increase in sexual offences and an increase in stalking and harassment offenses by 36%. The largest increases in violent crime were reported by police forces in South Yorkshire, Durham, Greater Manchester and Northumbria.
Despite the more favourable results reported by the Crime Survey, figures clearly suggest that the police are dealing with a growing volume of violent crime and government ministers have accepted that there is much more to be done to tackle violent crime. They have outlined that the latest government action, announced in the past week, includes an urgent focus on acid attacks and knife offences. They have also advised that the Domestic Abuse Bill, backed by £100m funding, is aimed to ensure support and justice for victims and to assist in the prevention of violence against women and girls.
Rachel Almeida, head of policy at the charity Victim Support, recognised the implications of these worrying figures regarding violent crime, stating: “these types of crime in particular can cause deep emotional, physical and psychological effects on victims.”
If you have been the innocent victim of a violence crime resulting in physical or psychological injuries, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
For support and assistance in pursuing a claim against the CICA, please contact one of our legal experts for a free, no obligation chat.
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