3,700,000 Reasons to Protect Your Home and Business
2012 figures for crime in England and Wales have been released by the Home Office and though there is improvement, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. It is also important to remember, that the Home Office statistics only reflect crimes actually reported by police.
An independent survey from CSEW paints a considerably different picture of crime in England and Wales. In addition to the current improvements, another threat should make homeowners and businesses be more vigilant are the pressing budget realities that will call for reducing law enforcement staffing levels.
2012 was the first year in which cybercrimes were added to the data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). No fraud data is included in the crime data from the Home Office. There were 441,174 recorded incidents of fraud in the UK in 2012. The majority of these crimes included:
- Bank fraud
- Online bank accounts
- Credit card fraud
- Cheque fraud (50 percent of all fraud)
In the first year of recording computer fraud, including hacking of social media and e-mail accounts, 1,565 offences were reported. While crime may be decreasing in some areas, this is an area where crime is expected to increase.
Police Reported Crime Data in Britain and Wales 2012
Police reported 3,700,349 crimes were committed in England and Wales in 2012. This marks a significant decrease in the total number of incidents reported by police of 8 percent over 2011 reported incidents. Since 2002, police reported crimes have decreased by a significant 38 percent. Much of this improvement is attributed to better security, including the use of non-penetrable doors and better security systems.
While certain areas of crime show encouraging improvement, the Home Office data by no means indicates that property owners and the general citizenry should relax their security. In 2012, there were 551 homicides, down from 638 in 2011 but far too many by any standard. Homicides last year were half what they were in 2002 and down by 13.6 percent over 2011. At the same time, the number of attempted homicides in Britain and Wales decreased by 7.6 percent in 2012.
In England and Wales in 2012, motor vehicle theft fell by 15 percent from the previous year. Robbery decreased by 13 percent and criminal damage was down by 15 percent. These are definite quantitative improvements in police reported crimes, but according to the CSEW study, they do not tell the whole story.
The police reporting process may be misleading. There is great disparity between how crimes are recorded and reported from one district to another. The CSEW survey reports that 8.9 million crimes were committed in England and Wales in 2012. The police indicate that only 3.7 million crimes were reported.
Police reported a 10 percent reduction in bicycle theft. The CSEW survey reveals a 12 percent increase. The implication is that smaller crimes may not be reported to the police or that police do not view them as significant enough to record.
Police do agree that there was a significant increase in theft from individuals in 2012. A total of 107,471 of these incidents occurred, an increase of 8 percent from 2011.
Upon release of the new data from the Home Office, Jeff Farrar of the Association of Chief Police Officers told the press: “We cannot be complacent and while overall these results are positive the police service will need to adapt and innovate to continue bringing down crime as their budgets decrease.
“We cannot be complacent and while overall these results are positive the police service will need to adapt and innovate to continue bringing down crime as their budgets decrease.”
The CSEW survey also revealed interesting perceptions about crime. 60 percent of respondents answered positively that “police and local council are dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues that matter in your area.” However, when the same people were asked if “the criminal justice system as a whole is effective,” only 44 percent of respondents answered affirmatively.
This underscores a serious concern in Britain and Wales. There is pessimism about crime prevention as well as an overriding sense that crime in other areas is worse than in the individual’s own area. False perceptions can open the door to risk and there are many criminals operating profitably at the expense of homeowners and businesses.
What Can You Do To Deter Crime
Businesses and property owners can help reduce burglary, criminal damage and theft in a number of ways. Securing the property is the first step. Most home burglaries take place in broad daylight. That means that intruders are having little difficulty gaining access.
Entryways and windows must be secure. And, the home or business that does not have a solid security system is an accident waiting to happen. Failure to address these issues is the complacency that burglars rely upon. Protect your family, your home and your business by implementing a full scale security plan.
- Mobile phone theft, card fraud and property crime – all the key data (guardian.co.uk)
- Research and analysis: The public’s understanding and views of sentencing and the criminal justice system (gov.uk)
- Police urged to focus on prevention (bbc.co.uk)