The latest available figures are from Women and the Criminal Justice System 2019, published by the Ministry of Justice in November 2020.
The figures show that women commit less crime than men, and less serious crimes than men.
This is an important update for the gender and crime topic which makes up part of the A-level sociology crime and deviance module.
There are approximately equal numbers of men and women in the population as a whole, but 85% of people arrested are male, around 75% of those prosecuted are male and 95% of people who go to prison are male, meaning women only make up 5% of the total prison population.
Both the male and female crime rates seem to have been declining over the last five years of statistics, with fewer men and women being dealt with by the criminal justice system.
The male crime rate does seem to be declining faster than the female crime rate, with the female crime rate seeming to level off somewhat more recently.
Men Commit more serious crimes than women (I)
‘Indictable offenses’ in the darkest blue below are those more serious offences dealt with by the crown court. Men are twice as likely to be on trial for an indictable offence compared to women.
78% of males are in court for summary (less serious offences) compared to 90% of women, and men are more likely to on trial for motoring offences!
Men commit more serious crimes than women (II)
The chart below shows you that for the more serious, indictable offences such as violence and robbery, men commit around 85-90% of these, but for sexual offenses 98% of offenders are men, only 2% are women.
The most equal in terms of gender are fraud offences and summary non-motoring offences….
Women only make up 5% of the prison population
This is related to their committing less crime and less serious crime than men, although some sociologists (read on!) have argued this is because the courts are more lenient towards women (others argue it’s the opposite, saying the course are harsher towards women.