The first official recording of cybercrime in crime reports for England and Wales has caused headline numbers to rocket, with over two million cases of computer misuse and 3.6m recorded fraud attempts making the countries look like they've turned into crime-ridden hell holes.
This is the first year that the Crime Survey of England and Wales has included virtual crimes committed by people like us in its numbers, hence the rise in Bad Things Happening. Separate numbers reported by the police say that there was an eight per cent increase in Other/Traditional forms of crime during the year to last September, although the Office for National Statistics kindly notes that some of the rise may be accounted for by better reporting procedures -- so we haven't necessarily all turned evil.
John Flatley from the ONS said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then. When the crime survey started, fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented. Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."
The good news is that violent crimes are down again, seeing as we're all sitting at home trying to hack each other now. [BBC]