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Crime

Murder rate in England and Wales highest since 2008

One in five people in England and Wales experienced a crime in the year before June 2018, according to British police statistics

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 9:10pm

The murder and manslaughter rate in England and Wales has risen to the highest in a decade, official figures show.

There were 719 murders or manslaughters – in the year to June, a 14 per cent increase from 630 the previous year excluding exceptional incidents in 2017 such as terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. It was the highest number since 775 murders were recorded in the year before March 2008.

There were 39,332 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, up 12 per cent on the previous year, according to police data. The figure excludes data from Greater Manchester after a review identified undercounting of crimes involving knives or sharp instruments due to a technical issue.

There were also jumps in the numbers of recorded robberies up 22 per cent, sexual offences up 18 per cent, vehicle-related theft up 7 per cent and burglaries up 2 per cent.

Total police-recorded crime rose by 9 per cent as forces in England and Wales registered a total of 5.6 million offences in the year to June, the ONS said.

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But the Crime Survey of England and Wales – a face-to-face survey of people’s experiences of crime, which differs from police data – showed no change at 10.7 million offences in the period.

Joe Traynor, of the ONS centre for crime and justice, said: “Over recent decades we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime but in the last year the trend has been more stable. The latest figures show no change in the total level of crime but variation by crime types.

“We saw rises in some types of theft and in some lower-volume but higher-harm types of violence, balanced by a fall in the high-volume offence of computer misuse. There was no change in other high-volume offences such as overall violence, criminal damage and fraud.

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“To put today’s crime survey figures into context, only two out of 10 adults experienced crime in the latest year.”

The crime survey showed a 6% rise in offences when excluding fraud and computer misuse, to 6.2m in the period. New victimisation questions on fraud and computer misuse were introduced into the survey in October 2015 and the ONS says they are excluded when looking at changes in crime over the longer term.