The Facts We Can’t Ignore – UK Crime Statistics
With UK Crime Statistics in the news and much has been made in the press about the rise of violent crime in England and Wales of late – but with knife and gun crime on the rise, should you be concerned that your home or business could also be at risk?
The latest crime figures for the UK from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) paint a conflicting picture – there has been a rise in recorded crime, and it’s rising more steeply than has previously been the case.
Some types of crime have fallen (such as computer misuse) but instances of theft have increased, say the ONS.
The ONS report states:
- There was also evidence of a rise in vehicle-related theft offences, with the latest CSEW estimates showing a 17% increase compared with the previous year. This is consistent with rises seen in the number of vehicle-related theft offences recorded by the police.
- Police figures also indicate a rise in burglary (9% increase), which is thought to reflect a genuine increase in this type of crime.
Meanwhile, The Guardian states that there has been a 32% rise in domestic burglary.
In its report on the crime stats, the newspaper notes, “Police chiefs said the increases – including a 32% rise in domestic burglary to 261,965 offences and an 18% rise in vehicle-related crimes (443,577 offences) alongside the sharp rises in violent crime – marked a turning point after more than 20 years of sustained falls in these categories.”
The last few years also saw increases in the number of burglaries and thefts taking place. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of burglaries increased by 9% for example.
The Office of National Statistics points out this isn’t because of better reporting by police forces, but reflects a genuine increase in the number of burglaries taking place.
This is part of a trend going back three years, suggesting the figures are not a fluke.
Of course, this also highlights the growing need to protect what is yours and the increasing importance of a well maintained, visible and properly installed security system in the form of a home burglar alarm.
For businesses, the picture is similarly bleak – the wholesale and retail industry alone fell victim to 8.1 million crimes in 2017 for example with theft and shoplifting common offences.
These numbers alone make a compelling argument for a business burglar alarm system.
Some speculate that there are economic factors behind the rise, while others point to stretched police resources and burglars taking advantage of the situation.
Whatever the reasons, burglaries are definitely on the up – meaning your security measures, such as the installation of a burglar alarm, should also be more stringent.
In the Home – UK Crime Statistics
The Office of National Statistics figures ending December 2017 showed a marked increase in burglaries of residential properties.
The report was clear in its conclusions that the 9% rise in home burglaries compared with 2016 represents a, “…genuine increase in this type of crime because it is generally well recorded by police and well reported by victims.”
Burglary was trending downwards from 2011 to 2015, but the last two years has seen a very real and concerning rise in the numbers.
The ONS report points out that if the trend continues in this direction, 2018 will see burglaries peak at their highest rate for five years.
The numbers suggest that 8 out of every 1,000 people will be the victim of a burglary– further proof in any were needed that if you don’t have one already, now is the time to install a burglar alarm to safeguard your home.
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In Businesses – UK Crime Statistics
Businesses have also seen incidents of burglary occurring more frequently in the last couple of years, and are more likely to be targeted than homes according to national figures.
Whilst the overall number of burglary-related crimes is lower for businesses – 116,000 in the 2016-2017 period – the number of crimes per 1,000 businesses is higher.
Of every 1,000 businesses, 326 are likely to see themselves the victim of burglary.
This makes sense, in a fashion, because businesses represent a guaranteed ‘haul’ for intruders.
Most businesses have multiple computers on-site – probably laptops and spare mobile device, as well – and many keep products, tools and equipment stored overnight or over the weekend.
For burglars, this is a very tempting target.
44, 000 business premises were targeted over the period covered, which represents 12% of businesses surveyed.
What’s more, businesses are more likely to be victimised more than once.
The average number of time each business experiences a burglary is three.
This means that once intruders size up a business, they are likely to return and try to extract more.
This, more than anything, underlines the need for a quality, robust business burglar alarm system.
After theft – of which wholesales and retailers are the main victims – burglary was the second-most common crime for businesses to experience in the period covered.
The report points out that that burglary showed, “…statistically significant increases in prevalence rates compared with 2016.”
In terms of business size, 281 businesses out of every 1,000 with 1-9 employees were likely to see a successful or attempted break-in.
That number rises to 355 per 1,000 for businesses with 10-49 employees and a shocking 1,416 per 1,000 premises for businesses with more than 50 employees.
Overall, 326 of every 1,000 businesses experienced a burglary-related crime in the 2016-2017 period.
Revealingly, burglar alarms were only the third most common security measure reported by businesses.
89% of businesses utilised “protection of windows and doors”, 84% prioritised “protection of stock” and 79% were using burglar alarms.
Whilst it may seem like common sense to use a tailored security system including alarms, a full 21% of businesses weren’t doing this.
What it All Means
The figures from the government and the ONS paint a clear picture.
The number of home burglaries is increasing, rising to levels not seen for five years.
More people are falling foul of intruders and finding themselves an unwelcome addition to the national UK crime statistics.
Businesses are more likely to see themselves targeted than the average domestic premises, and are also more likely to suffer repeated burglaries.
The reason for the rise in the figures is for sociologists and the government to work out, but the reality is that burglaries are increasing in number and look set to continue on that path through 2018.