Police forces in England and Wales see crime hit 20-year high

Police forces in England and Wales have recorded the highest number of crimes in 20 years

Published

A total of 6.3 million crimes were recorded in the year to March 2022.

The figures – published by the Office for National Statistics – show that crime is up 16 percent on the previous year.

Knife crime, theft and domestic abuse all increased in the 12 months to March.

Police-recorded offences of fraud and computer misuse have risen 17 percent – from 828,364 in 2020/21 to 965,162 in 2021/22.

Knife crime rose by 10 percent to 49,027 offences in the year to March, compared to 44,642 in the previous 12 months.

Police-recorded crime
Police-recorded crime

Various types of police-recorded crime are now at their highest level since current records began in 2002/03, including the number of rape offences (70,330 in 2021/22), all sexual offences (194,683), stalking and harassment offences (722,574), and all violence against the person offences (2.1 million).

There were 909,504 domestic abused-related offences recorded in 2021/22, up eight percent on 2020/21 and up 12 percent on the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20.

Billy Gazard of the ONS said: “Police-recorded crime shows some indications of violent offences returning to or exceeding levels seen before the pandemic.

“Sexual offences recorded by the police were at the highest level recorded within a 12-month period in the year ending March 2022, a 32 percent increase from the previous year.

“These changes may reflect a number of factors including the impact of high-profile cases and campaigns on victims’ willingness to report incidents.”