Fear of crime

Published

Last updated 16 October 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2015/16, around one-fifth of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales believed that they were either ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ to be a victim of crime in the next year

  • overall, the figures for fear of crime have remained consistent between 2013/14 and 2015/16

  • in 2015/16, a smaller proportion of White people reported a fear of crime compared with Asian people, Black people, and those from the Other ethnic group

  • Asian people and those from the Other ethnic group had the highest levels of fear of crime

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures fear of crime among people living in England and Wales.

The data comes from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. People were asked how likely they thought it was that they would be a victim of crime in the next year. People who answered ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ were classed as having a fear of crime.

A question about fear of crime was last included in the Crime Survey in the year ending March 2016.

Percentages are given to the nearest whole number.

Not included in the data

The data does not include people living in communal establishments (such as care homes, university accommodation and prisons).

Estimates based on fewer than 50 respondents are not shown because they are not reliable.

The ethnic groups used in the data

In the data By ethnicity over time, estimates are shown for the 18 ethnic groups listed in the 2011 Census.

In the other data, the number of people surveyed from some ethnic groups was too small to make reliable generalisations, so estimates are shown for the following 5 aggregated groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

The data for ethnicity and gender, age and socio-economic group is an average for the 3 years from April 2013 to March 2016. This is to make sure there are enough people to be able to make reliable generalisations. You can read more about combining multiple years of data and some of the issues involved.

The estimates on this page are based on survey data. You can read more about:

In the data file

See Download the data for estimates rounded to 1 decimal place.

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage and number of people who had a fear of crime by ethnicity over time
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Ethnicity 2013/14 % 2013/14 Number 2014/15 % 2014/15 Number 2015/16 % 2015/16 Number
All 19 34,684 19 32,702 19 34,566
Asian 31 1,766 28 1,578 27 1,712
Bangladeshi 34 132 29 119 31 130
Chinese 15 165 19 131 16 166
Indian 33 744 29 642 27 694
Pakistani 35 388 27 375 30 400
Asian other 29 337 30 311 26 322
Black 27 918 24 875 26 854
Black African 23 542 22 509 25 504
Black Caribbean 32 331 26 309 28 292
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 26 57 28 58
Mixed 29 329 20 303 21 359
Mixed White/Asian 33 77 18 88 21 93
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 43
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 25 119 21 97 18 133
Mixed other 25 88 27 73 26 90
White 18 31,414 17 29,681 18 31,352
White British 18 29,565 17 27,990 18 29,458
White Irish 21 316 17 295 20 280
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 12 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 10 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15
White other 20 1,521 19 1,386 21 1,599
Other 25 229 26 223 27 235
Arab 21 86 25 79 30 84
Any other 27 143 26 144 25 151

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Fear of crime By ethnicity over time Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2015/16, almost a third of people from the Bangladeshi ethnic group had a fear of crime, a higher proportion than that of people in the White British, White Irish, Other White, Mixed White and Black Caribbean, and Chinese ethnic groups – sample sizes are too small to draw firm conclusions for the remaining ethnic groups

  • White British people reported a lower fear of crime than all Asian ethnic groups except for people from the Chinese ethnic group

  • the Indian ethnic group saw a change in levels of fear of crime, with the proportion expressing fear falling from 33% in 2013/14 to 27% in 2015/16

  • although the table and chart show differences in the levels of fear of crime over time for various ethnic groups, sample sizes for these groups are small, so any generalisations based on the results are very unreliable

4. By ethnicity and gender

Percentage and number of people who had a fear of crime by ethnicity and gender
All Male Female
Ethnicity All % All Number Male % Male Number Female % Female Number
Asian 29 5,056 28 2,528 30 2,528
Black 26 2,647 23 1,118 28 1,529
Mixed 23 991 23 411 23 580
White 18 92,447 18 42,015 18 50,432
Other 26 687 26 360 27 327

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender’ (CSV)

Summary of Fear of crime By ethnicity and gender Summary

When the most recent 3 years' data is combined, it shows that:

  • men within the White, Mixed, Asian and Other ethnic groups shared a similar fear of crime with women of the same ethnicity

  • among Black people, men feared crime less than women

  • both White men and White women were less likely to fear crime than men and women from Black, Mixed, Asian or Other ethnic groups

5. By ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of people who had a fear of crime by ethnicity and age group
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age group Asian % Asian Number Black % Black Number Mixed % Mixed Number White % White Number Other % Other Number
16-24 24 563 20 282 23 207 18 6,470 20 85
25-34 28 1,327 24 518 20 250 20 12,492 25 172
35-44 31 1,414 25 698 25 221 22 13,988 31 189
45-54 31 775 32 598 26 156 20 15,879 30 109
55-64 35 513 28 271 29 70 19 15,444 24 63
65-74 28 329 34 152 21 61 15 15,539 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 41
75+ 27 135 14 128 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 26 9 12,635 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 28

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV)

Summary of Fear of crime By ethnicity and age group Summary

When the most recent 3 years' data is combined, it shows that:

  • for the 16 to 24 age group, there was no difference in fear of crime between White people and those from other ethnic groups, with the exception of Asian 16 to 24 year olds, who were more likely to fear crime

  • the biggest difference in fear of crime between different ethnic groups was found in the two oldest age groups – for example, 34% of Black people aged 65 to 74 expressed a fear of crime compared with 15% of White people in the same age group

  • 9% of White people aged 75 and over feared crime, compared with 27% of Asian people in the same age group

  • in all age groups, Asian people were more likely to fear crime than White people

6. By ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of people who had a fear of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic status
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Socio-economic group Asian % Asian Number Black % Black Number Mixed % Mixed Number White % White Number Other % Other Number
Managerial and professional occupations 28 1,618 26 778 21 332 17 31,910 28 195
Intermediate occupations 34 1,035 27 447 24 195 19 21,907 25 124
Routine and manual occupations 30 1,389 28 954 23 304 19 32,943 23 167
Never worked and long-term unemployed 26 556 19 226 30 55 20 2,758 34 97
Full time students 23 418 22 221 25 101 15 2,442 22 102
Not classified withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 40 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 4 17 487 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV)

Summary of Fear of crime By ethnicity and socio-economic group Summary

When the most recent 3 years' data is combined, it shows that:

  • people in managerial and professional jobs and full-time students were generally less fearful of crime than those in other occupations

  • within the managerial and professional category, White people were less likely to fear crime than people from most other ethnic groups

  • unemployed White adults were less fearful of crime than unemployed people from the Asian and Other ethnic groups

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is a face-to-face survey in which people living in households in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected range of criminal offences in the 12 months prior to the interview.

The CSEW is able to capture a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to, and recorded by, the police.

8. Download the data

Fear of crime - Spreadsheet (csv) 97 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, socio-economic status, value, denominator