Victims of crime
The main facts and figures show that:
15% of the total adult population in England and Wales were victims of at least one crime in 2015/16 – a fall from 17% in 2013/14
in 2015/16, a higher proportion of the Mixed, Asian and Black adult populations were victims of crime than the White adult population
Things you need to know
These figures are based on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).
There are some high harm but relatively lower-volume offences, such as homicide and sexual offences, which 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.
Estimates based on a larger number of respondents are generally more reliable. Therefore, the smaller numbers of respondents from ethnic minority backgrounds mean that estimates for these groups are less reliable than estimates for White people.
Estimates based on fewer than 50 responses are excluded, as they are considered less reliable.
In some instances, 3 years' worth of CSEW data have been combined. This is because the number of people surveyed in a single year becomes too small to produce reliable estimates for the population as a whole when broken down both by ethnicity (in either detailed or broad categories) and by another factor like age, socio-economic group or sex.
Grouping years increases the number of respondents, increasing the reliability of the estimates.
Because CSEW is a sample survey, estimates based on it have a margin of error. Users should consider this when interpreting the data.
What the data measures
This data measures the proportion of the population who reported being victims of an offence one or more times over the reference period (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 reference period. 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 includes the 18 ethnic categories listed in the 2011 Census:
- English/ Welsh/ Scottish/ Northern Irish/ British
- 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:
- Any other Asian background
Black/ African/ Caribbean/ Black British:
- Any other Black/ African/ Caribbean background
Other ethnic group:
- Any other ethnic group
However, in cases where the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions, the CSEW breaks the data down into the following broader categories.
Either 5 ethnic categories:
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Other ethnic group
Or 2 ethnic categories:
White and Other, that is, White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities) compared with all other ethnic minorities
Victims of crime by ethnicity
Percentage and number of adults who were victims of crime by ethnicity
|Black other||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||45||28||57||31||61|
|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|
|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|
This data shows that:
between 2013/14 and 2015/16, the proportion of White adults experiencing at least one crime fell from 17% to 15%. This was the only ethnic group to see any significant change in levels of crime
although the graph shows a reduction in the proportion of Mixed ethnic group and an increase in the proportion of Other ethnic group adults who were victims of crime, sample sizes for these groups are small, so any generalisations based on these results are very unreliable
Victims of crime by ethnicity and gender
Percentage and number of adults who were victims of crime by ethnicity and gender
This data shows that:
when the figures for the last 3 years are combined, the White population was the only ethnic group to see a clear difference between men and women; here, more men than women were more likely to experience being victims of crime.
sample sizes are too small to draw firm conclusions for the remaining ethnic groups.
Victims of crime by ethnicity and age
Percentage and number of adults who were victims of crime by ethnicity and age
|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|
When the figures for the last 3 years are combined:
on average, across all ethnic groups in the England and Wales, younger people were more likely to experience crime than older people
for the White, Black and Mixed ethnic groups, experience of crime went down as age increased
White and Mixed ethnic group young people aged 16 to 24 were more likely to experience crime than the same age group in the Asian and Other ethnic groups
in the 25 to 34 age group, there was a clear difference between Mixed ethnic group adults and all other ethnic groups in the same age group, with a greater proportion of the former being victims of crime
no other reliable (or ‘statistically significant’) differences between ethnic groups or age groups were observed
Victims of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic group
Percentage and number of adults who were victims of crime by ethnicity and socio-economic status
|Managerial and professional occupations||20||1,653||20||806||32||339||16||32,267||22||196|
|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|
When the figures for the last 3 years are combined, this data shows that:
in the Asian, Black and Mixed adult populations, a higher proportion of people in managerial or professional jobs experienced crime compared to people of the same ethnicity in long-term unemployment
in the White population, more adults in long-term unemployment experienced crime than did adults in managerial and professional jobs
there was no clear difference in the degree to which ethnic groups within the full-time student population experienced crime, apart from in the Other ethnic group category, where a smaller proportion of people had experienced crime
Methodology and type of data
Type of data
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.
The data is all drawn from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), which is a continuous survey, and broken down by ethnic group, as reported by survey respondents.
CSEW estimates are based on analysis of structured face-to-face interviews carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Data are weighted and two stages are used in the weighting of the CSEW sample. 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.
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 procedure is used to give different weights to different households and individuals based on their sex, age and regional composition 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), to compensate for the observed variation in response rates between different types of neighbourhood, to compensate for situations in which only one dwelling unit can be selected in multiple ‘dwelling unit' households, and to account for 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.
Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number but more detailed estimates to 1 decimal place are available in the download
Further technical information
Accuracy: 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’)
Coverage issues: The CSEW does not cover those living in communal establishments (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons), or crimes against commercial or public sector bodies.
Data source details
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.