The UK is braced for a 40 per cent rise in crime, sort of. The latest official crime rate figures are set to be published today, and we’re expecting to see a significant increase in naughtiness. That’s because, up until now, incidents of cybercrime haven’t been included in the official figures.
Yep, incredible as it sounds, officials have never actually included phishing scams, data theft and online fraud in the Crime Survey for England and Wales. There’s little excuse for the oversight either, as figures for cybercrime have been totted up and published elsewhere. According to the Office for National Statistics, up to 3.8 million incidents could be added to the headline figures. For context, 6.8 million offences were counted in the last set of results.
It raises serious questions about crime in England and Wales, as we’ve been led to believe that behaviour has improved over the past 20 years. “Labour have long said that crime is not falling, it is changing," said Labour’s policing spokesman, Jack Dromey. "Now we know the truth. The Office of National Statistics are forcing the government’s hand and making them come clean about the new wave of crime hitting the British public – rapidly growing online fraud and cybercrime."
Good work all round.