A steep increase in crimes like fraud, rape, and violent assaults has led to the largest number of crimes reported by police in England and Wales in the past 20 years.
A total of 6.3 million crimes were reported in the year ending in March 2022, which is 4% more than the 6.1 million crimes reported in the preceding year and a half.
Additionally, it is up 16% from 2020–21, when Covid–19 lockdown limits had an impact on crime rates.
According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), domestic violence, theft, and knife crime all increased in the year that ended in March.
Fraud and computer misuse offenses reported to the police have increased 17%, from 828,364 in 2020–21 to 965,162 in 202–21.
Knife crime increased by 10% to 49,027 offenses in the year to March from 44,642 the year before, albeit this is still less than the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20, which had 55,078 offenses.
The number of rape offenses (70,330 in 2021/22), all sexual offenses (194,683), stalking and harassment offenses (722,574), and all crimes involving violence against people are currently at their highest levels since current records began in 2002/03. (2.1 million).
In 2021/22, there were 909,504 domestic abuse-related offenses reported, an increase of 8% from 2020/21 and 12% from the year prior to the pandemic, 2019/20.
A portion of this rise can be attributable to advancements in reporting during the past several years.
Diana Fawcett, CEO of the nonprofit Victim Support, commented on the data, saying: “Record increases in crime levels are always concerning — behind these statistics are real individuals, and being a victim of any crime can have a terrible and long-lasting impact.
Regardless of the cause, there has been a significant spike in reported crime, and victims all around the nation are experiencing excruciatingly long trial delays.
“We need urgent action to resolve the backlog of cases because the number of cases entering the criminal justice system is at its highest level in 20 years, to ensure that individuals who have had the guts to report a crime receive the justice they deserve.”
According to Billy Gazard of the ONS, sexual offenses reported by the police reached their greatest level ever in the year ending in March 2022, up 32% from the year before.
The impact of high-profile cases and campaigns on victims’ willingness to report occurrences is just one of the elements that these shifts may indicate.
From 88,576 in 2014–15 to 194,683 in 202–21, the number of sex offenses reported by forces in England and Wales has more than doubled.
From 36,320 in 2015–16 to 70,330 in the year–to–March of this year, rape offenses have nearly quadrupled over the last six years.
Even if the number of theft offenses increased by 15% to 1.5 million in 2021–2022, it is still less than before the epidemic, when the number exceeded two million.
The current statistics show an uptick in many theft subcategories, but this comes after a substantial decline in 2020/21 when levels were impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns.
Theft of a motor vehicle increased by 22%, theft of a person’s property increased by 77%, and shoplifting increased by 21% in the year to March.
According to separate data released on Thursday by the Home Office, charges and/or summonses were issued in only 5.6% of offenses in England and Wales in 2021/22 (about one in 18), down from 7.1% (or one in 14) in 2020/21.
The charge rate has been declining for a while and is currently about one-third of where it was in 2014–15, when it reached 15.5%.
The percentage of offenses for which police forces had not yet determined a resolution at the time of reporting increased from 7.8% in 2020–21 to 11.7% in 202–21.
7.3% was the figure in 2014–15.
These patterns, according to the Home Office, “are likely to reflect, in part, improved crime recording methods as well as a more complicated crime caseload being handled by the police, with the rise in violence against the person and sexual offences,”
According to data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), 1,733 rape convictions were handed out in England and Wales in 2021/22, up from 1,109 in 2021/21 and higher than the 1,439 in the year prior to the pandemic, 2019/20.
In the year to March 2022, the conviction rate for rape cases was 68.3%, down from 71.2% in 2020/21 but essentially stable from 68.5% in 2019/20.
In 2021/2022, there were 2,223 rape suspects charged, a 14% increase from 1,955 in 2020/2021.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for rape and adult sexual offenses, Chief Constable Sarah Crew, and Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC stated: “Rape is a horrific offence and we are dedicated to improve every element of how these life-changing crimes are dealt with.”
We can create the strongest cases more rapidly when we work closely together from the very beginning of an inquiry.
The increase in charge choices will result in more trials and more convictions since police are contacting the CPS earlier in the process and more frequently.
Early advice in these cases has been crucial in assisting us in making better use of our combined resources and reducing the gap between the volume of offenses reported to the police and the number of cases that end up in court.