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Victims of crime

The main facts and figures show that:

  • 15% of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales were victims of at least one crime in 2015/16 – a fall of 2% compared with 2013/14

  • in 2015/16, a higher percentage of people from the Mixed, Asian and Black ethnic groups were victims of crime compared with White 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.

Since October 2015, the survey has included fraud and computer misuse. However, as data from before this point is not available, the statistics and commentary presented here exclude fraud and computer misuse offences.

Keep in mind when making comparisons between ethnic groups that all survey estimates are subject to a degree of uncertainty. This is because they are based on a sample of the population. The degree of uncertainty is greater when the number of respondents is small, so it will be highest for ethnic minority 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, the ONS combines data for each year into a 3-year average.

These statistics are estimates based on the sample of people who took part in the survey, and may not reflect the whole population. You should therefore use caution when interpreting them.

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 proportion of the population who reported being victims of an offence one or more times in the 12 months prior to interview. This is known as the prevalence rate.

Prevalence rates measure whether a household or person was a victim of at least one crime in the period covered by the survey. They do not measure the specific number of times a household or person was a victim.

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 proportion of victims provides the prevalence rate, often described as the risk of being a victim of crime.

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

To analyse the data by gender, age group and socio-economic group, the Office for National Statistics uses the following 5 broad ethnic categories:

  • 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 and number of people who were victims of crime by ethnicity over time

2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number
All 17 35,371 16 33,350 15 35,324
Asian 19 1,824 16 1,649 18 1,790
Bangladeshi 17 138 12 123 15 135
Chinese 15 169 11 136 16 173
Indian 20 767 14 679 18 722
Pakistani 20 398 22 388 23 428
Asian other 15 352 14 323 15 332
Black 17 959 18 902 19 902
Black African 16 564 19 529 19 530
Black Caribbean 17 350 15 316 16 311
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 28 57 31 61
Mixed 27 339 28 309 21 364
Mixed White/Asian 24 80 28 90 16 94
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
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 29 120 29 98 21 135
Mixed other 29 93 23 76 26 91
White 17 31,980 16 30,212 15 31,967
White British 17 30,073 16 28,476 15 29,993
White Irish 21 322 17 299 17 287
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 17 1,573 19 1,427 16 1,672
Other 14 236 15 234 17 242
Arab 10 88 10 83 10 87
Any other 16 148 17 151 21 155

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2013/14 and 2015/16, the percentage of White adults who were victims of at least one crime fell from 17% to 15% – no other ethnic group experienced a meaningful change in levels of crime

  • although the data shows a reduction in the percentage of people of Mixed ethnicity who were victims of crime – and an increase for people from the Other ethnic group – sample sizes for these groups were small, so any generalisations based on these results are very unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and gender

Percentage and number of people who were victims of crime by ethnicity and gender

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

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White men were more likely than White women to be victims of crime

  • although the chart and table show some differences between men and women in the Mixed, Asian and Other ethnic groups, sample sizes for these groups are small, so any generalisations based on these results are very unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of people who were victims of crime by ethnicity and age group

Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age group % 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

Summary

This data shows that:

  • on average, across all ethnic groups, younger people were more likely to experience crime than older people

  • among the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups, experience of crime went down as age increased

  • people aged 16 to 24 years from the White and Mixed ethnic groups were more likely to experience crime than people of the same age from the Asian and Other ethnic groups

  • in the 25 to 34 age group, people of Mixed ethnicity were more likely to be victims of crime than people of the same age from all other ethnic groups

  • although the data shows other differences based on ethnicity and age group, sample sizes are small so any generalisations based on these results are very unreliable

Victims of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of people who were victims of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Asian Black Mixed White Other
[None] % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
Managerial and professional occupations 20 1,653 20 806 32 339 16 32,267 22 196
Intermediate occupations 19 1,076 18 470 21 199 15 22,321 15 125
Routine and manual occupations 16 1,467 17 1,004 22 311 15 33,752 16 177
Never worked and long-term unemployed 13 602 12 235 18 57 18 2,848 16 106
Full time students 18 423 21 223 25 101 22 2,463 7 106
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

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in the Asian, Black and Mixed ethnicity groups, a higher percentage of people in managerial or professional jobs experienced crime compared with people of the same ethnicity in long-term unemployment

  • however, White people in long-term unemployment were more likely to be victims of crime than people of the same ethnicity in managerial and professional jobs

  • among full-time students, those from the Other ethnic group were least likely to be victims of crime

Methodology

Methodology

CSEW estimates are based on analysis of structured face-to-face interviews carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). In 2015/16, the response rate was 72%.

The CSEW is a household sample survey and, as such, 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. This helps to make them more reliable.

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, weights are 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 differentials in response rates between different regions and between different age by six sub-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 from the Crime Survey for England and Wales have National Statistics status.

National Statistics are a subset of official statistics which have been certified by the UK Statistics Authority as compliant with its Code of Practice for Official Statistics, including requirements on disclosure control. Estimates based on a number of respondents (known as the 'unweighted base') that is less than 50 are suppressed as these estimates are deemed to be 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.

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

Home Office

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 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.csv

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

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