Victims of crime

The main facts and figures show that:

  • overall in 2017/18, 14% of people aged 16 years and over in England and Wales said they were victims of crime at least once in the last 12 months – down from 17% in 2013/14
  • a higher percentage of people from the Mixed and Asian ethnic group said they were victims of crime compared with White people
  • on average in the 3-year period 2014/15 to 2016/17, younger people were more likely to say they were victims of crime than older people
Things you need to know

These figures are based on the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW is a face-to-face survey in which people aged 16 or over living in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected range of criminal offences in the previous 12 months.

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. However, some offences such as homicide and sexual offences are not included in its main estimates.

Statistics on fraud and computer misuse have been included in CSEW data since 2015/16. However, as the data shown here dates back to 2013/14, the statistics and commentary exclude fraud and computer misuse offences.

The data measures whether someone was either:

  • a victim of at least one crime
  • a resident of a household that had been subject to at least one household crime (like burglary)

The data does not measure the specific number of times they were a victim, nor the seriousness of the crime they were victim of.

Keep in mind that all survey estimates are based on a sample of the population, rather than the whole population. This means there’s a degree of uncertainty which is greater when the number of respondents is small. There are usually fewer respondents from ethnic minority groups due to the make-up of the general population – therefore, the level of uncertainty is higher for these groups.

Estimates based on fewer than 50 responses are excluded, as they are considered less reliable.

To increase the reliability of the data when broken down by gender, age group and socio-economic group, 3 years of data have been combined (2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and the estimates presented are averages for this 3-year period. This 3-year dataset hasn’t been updated with the 2017/18 data.

The commentary for this data only includes reliable, or ‘statistically significant’, findings. Findings are statistically significant when we can be confident that if we carried out the same survey on different random samples of the population, 19 times out of 20 we would get similar findings.

Differences are statistically significant if the results for the groups or time periods being compared are within entirely different ranges.

The CSEW does not include:

  • people living in communal establishments (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons)
  • crimes against commercial or public sector bodies
What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of the population who reported being victims of at least one offence in the 12 months prior to interview (sometimes referred to as the ‘prevalence rate’). The data is broken down by ethnicity.

These figures are based on information from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), for which respondents and their households are designated either as victims or non-victims.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Where possible, this data is broken down by the 18 ethnic categories listed in the 2011 Census. There's a separate category for respondents whose ethnicity wasn't known.

The 2011 Census categories are as follows:

White:

  • English/ Welsh/ Scottish/ Northern Irish/ British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/ Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

The number of people from specific ethnic categories surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions when analysed by gender, age group and socio-economic group. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:

  • Asian / Asian British
  • Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  • Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Victims of crime by ethnicity over time

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who said they were victims of crime, by ethnicity over time

2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Ethnicity % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size % Sample size
All 17 35,371 16 33,350 15 35,324 14 35,420 14 34,715
Asian 19 1,824 16 1,649 18 1,790 15 1,956 16 2,013
Bangladeshi 17 138 12 123 15 135 19 168 18 182
Chinese 15 169 11 136 16 173 13 182 15 165
Indian 20 767 14 679 18 722 15 772 16 795
Pakistani 20 398 22 388 23 428 16 498 18 495
Asian other 15 352 14 323 15 332 13 336 14 376
Black 17 959 18 902 19 902 17 1,026 15 968
Black African 16 564 19 529 19 530 17 629 15 581
Black Caribbean 17 350 15 316 16 311 14 318 16 323
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 28 57 31 61 22 79 12 64
Mixed 27 339 28 309 21 364 20 370 22 375
Mixed White/Asian 24 80 28 90 16 94 17 105 29 87
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 46 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44 13 56 16 63
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 29 120 29 98 21 135 20 121 16 120
Mixed other 29 93 23 76 26 91 29 88 26 105
White 17 31,980 16 30,212 15 31,967 14 31,673 14 31,003
White British 17 30,073 16 28,476 15 29,993 14 29,366 14 28,714
White Irish 21 322 17 299 17 287 10 296 12 295
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 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15
White other 17 1,573 19 1,427 16 1,672 14 1,990 15 1,979
Other 14 236 15 234 17 242 15 349 17 300
Arab 10 88 10 83 10 87 18 141 20 100
Any other 16 148 17 151 21 155 12 208 15 200

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data show that:

  • overall in 2017/18, 14% of people aged 16 years and over in England and Wales said they were victims of crime at least once in the last 12 months – down from 17% in 2013/14
  • people from the Mixed and Asian ethnic groups were more likely to have said they were victims of crime (at 22% and 16% respectively), compared with White people (14%)
  • the percentage of White people who said they were victims of crime fell from 17% to 14% between 2013/14 and 2017/18 – no other ethnic group experienced a significant change during the same period
  • although the data shows changes in the percentage of people from other ethnic groups who said they were victims of crime, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and gender

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who said they were victims of crime, by ethnicity and gender

All Female Male
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number
Asian 18 5,263 17 2,660 18 2,603
Black 18 2,763 18 1,606 18 1,157
Mixed 25 1,012 27 595 24 417
White 16 94,159 15 51,503 16 42,656
Other 15 712 14 341 16 371

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • White men were more likely than White women to say they were victims of crime in the previous 12 months, with 16% and 15% respectively doing so
  • although the chart and table show some differences between men and women in the Mixed, Black, Asian and Other ethnic groups, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and age group

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who said they were victims of crime, by ethnicity and age group

Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age Bracket % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
16-24 19 570 23 282 29 209 23 6,553 11 89
25-34 19 1,373 19 540 30 256 21 12,676 14 179
35-44 17 1,465 17 724 23 226 19 14,194 21 195
45-54 18 801 19 625 25 160 17 16,140 17 112
55-64 14 547 14 285 12 71 13 15,720 17 65
65-74 14 360 8 165 4 62 9 15,889 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 43
75+ 13 147 7 142 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 28 6 12,987 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 29

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • in general, younger people were more likely to say they were victims of crime in the previous 12 months than older people
  • among the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups, the experience of being a victim of crime went down as age increased
  • people aged 16 to 24 years from the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups were more likely to be a victim of crime than people in the same age group from the Asian and Other ethnic groups
  • although the data shows other apparent differences based on ethnicity and age, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who said they were victims of crime, by ethnicity and age group

Asian Black Mixed White Other
Socio-economic classification % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
Full time students 18 423 21 223 25 101 22 2,463 7 106
Intermediate occupations 19 1,076 18 470 21 199 15 22,321 15 125
Managerial and professional occupations 20 1,653 20 806 32 339 16 32,267 22 196
Never worked and long-term unemployed 13 602 12 235 18 57 18 2,848 16 106
Not classified withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 42 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 25 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 5 14 508 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2
Routine and manual occupations 16 1,467 17 1,004 22 311 15 33,752 16 177

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

Three years of data have been combined and the estimates shown here are averages for this 3-year period.

The data shows that:

  • in general, younger people were more likely to say they were victims of crime in the previous 12 months than older people
  • among the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups, the experience of being a victim of crime went down as age increased
  • people aged 16 to 24 years from the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups were more likely to be a victim of crime than people in the same age group from the Asian and Other ethnic groups
  • although the data shows other apparent differences based on ethnicity and age, the sample sizes for these groups are small and any generalisations based on these figures are unreliable

Methodology

Methodology

CSEW (Crime Survey of England and Wales) estimates are based on analysis of structured face-to-face interviews carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing. In 2017/18, 73% of respondents completed the survey.

The CSEW is a household sample survey. Estimates are based on a representative sample of the population of England and Wales aged 16 and over. A sample, as used in the CSEW, is a small-scale representation of the population from which it is drawn.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know has an even 50/50 split. Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

The CSEW collects information from approximately 35,000 households each year. Since those responses reflect only a fraction of the total population of England and Wales, a process is used to give different weights to different households and individuals based on their sex, age and region, in such a way that the weighted distribution of responding household and individuals in these households matches the known distribution in the population as a whole.

First, weighting is applied to the raw data to compensate for:

  • unequal address selection probabilities (given, some areas are more populated than others)
  • the observed variation in response rates between different types of neighbourhood
  • situations in which only one dwelling unit can be selected in multiple ‘dwelling unit' households
  • different probabilities of a respondent being selected based on different sized households

Second, calibration weighting is used to make adjustments for known differences in response rates between different regions and between different age groups.

Socio-economic groups:

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) categorises members of the adult public in the UK according to their occupational status.

The NS-SEC categories are:

  • managerial and professional occupations
  • intermediate occupations (clerical, sales, service)
  • routine and manual occupations
  • never worked and long-term unemployed
  • full-time students
  • not classified

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates based on fewer than 50 respondents have been suppressed as they are less reliable.

Rounding

Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number. You can see more detailed estimates (rounded to 1 decimal place) if you download the data.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Since the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is based on a sample of the population, estimates have a margin of quantifiable and non-quantifiable error associated with them.

Non-quantifiable error includes:

  • when respondents have recalled crimes in the reference period that actually occurred outside that period
  • crimes that did occur in the reference period that were not mentioned at all (either because respondents failed to recall a fairly trivial incident or, conversely, because they did not want to disclose an incident, such as a domestic assault)
  • respondents saying they reported crimes to police when they did not (a “socially desirable” response)
  • some incidents reported during the interview being miscoded (‘interviewer or coder error’)

Data sources

Source

Crime Survey for England and Wales

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 used alongside crime data recorded by police to provide the government with information about the extent and nature of crime in England and Wales.

The survey records all types of crimes experienced by people, including those crimes that may not have been reported to the police.

Download the data

Victims of crime - Spreadsheet (csv) 113 KB

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