According to the latest police recorded crime figures there has been a significant increase in crime in the last year:
- Gun crime has increased by 27%
- Knife crime has increased by 26%
- Robberies have increased by 25%
- Stalking and Harassment have increased by 36%
At first site, what’s interesting about these figures is that they not only demonstrate a radical increase, but this abruptly reverses the recent trend in declining violent crime:
However, these figures may not actually give us a reliable picture of the actual change in violent crime because of ONE simple fact: police forces in England and Wales are facing significant budget cuts, and so there may have been a more concerted effort on the part of the police to detect and record crimes over the last year – if crime can be shown to be going up, then this can be used as evidence to not cut police funding.
Then there’s the possibility that the public may be reporting more crimes – the ability to report online, for example, makes it easier to do so, and where harassment crimes are concerned, this may be due to a wave of recent campaigns such as the Everyday Sexism blog, to raise awareness of the fact that such behaviour is not acceptable.
British Crime Survey, based on accounts by victims, shows that crime is still going down, and this is generally regarded as a much more valid way of measuring the extent of crime in England and Wales than police recorded crime, as the BCS removes the subjectivity-bias of the police in investigating and recording crimes: