Crime Rate Doubles After True Scale of Internet Offences is Revealed

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

England and Wales are officially twice as bad as they were last year, and it’s all thanks to the internet. Well, sort of. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has, for the first time, included online offences and fraud as part of its official statistics.

It says that there were 12.1 million crimes in England and Wales in the 12 months up to the end of March 2016. Last year’s official total was 6.3 million.

Two million incidents of cybercrime and 3.8 million of fraud were included as part of this year’s figure, with one in 10 people in England and Wales now counted as victims. The ONS had expected the newly added figures to be much lower, predicting a 3.8 million rise in crime numbers back in October last year.

“This is the first time we have published official estimates of fraud and computer misuse from our victimisation survey,” said the ONS’ John Flatley. “Together, these offences are similar in magnitude to the existing headline figures covering all other crime survey offences. However, it would be wrong to concluded that actual crime levels have doubled, since the survey previously did not cover these offences.”

However, the ONS has said that the fraud questions were added to the crime survey in October 2015, with the data collected over the following six months being ‘grossed up’ to provide an estimate for the whole 12 months. You can read the entire report here. It'll take the entirety of your lunch hour and make your eyes hurt. [BBC]