UK

Homicide rate at highest level in a decade

Recorded crime has gone up by 9% in England and Wales, fuelled by rises in violent offences and robbery, official figures show.

The Home Office data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show police forces in England and Wales registered a total of 5.6 million offences in the year to June, compared with 5.2 million offences in the previous 12 months

What else did the figures reveal?

The number of homicides - covering murder, manslaughter and infanticide - in England and Wales has hit the highest point for more than 10 years. It is the fourth year in a row that there has been a rise.

NB: Homicide figures exclude terror attacks and the Hillsborough disaster.

The number of people being caught has risen too but the charge rate is still lower than it has been in the past.

Meanwhile, offences involving violence recorded by police have gone up.

This is not necessarily a reflection of rising crime, but instead could be a result of changes to recording rules and processes.

These Home Office statistics are published at the same time as the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which is based on people's experiences of crime.

The results of this separate survey show that violent crime remained steady at 1.2 million offences in the last year and has not risen much in the last four years .

But the statisticians at the ONS believe that crimes involving knives are going up.

There was a 12% increase in violent crimes where a knife or a sharp object was used. These are offences like robbery, rape and murder. There were 40,000 in the last year.

NB: Knife crime figures exclude Greater Manchester Police due to data comparability problems.

But there are also some crimes that are dropping.

Computer misuse offences are down by 30%, according to the crime survey.

And if you own a bike this may be good news - bike thefts have dropped too - although they were pretty high last year.

Joe Traynor, from the ONS said that while there had been "continued falls in overall levels of crime" over recent decades, in the last year the trend had been more stable.

"To put today's crime survey figures into context, only two out of 10 adults experienced crime in the latest year," he said.

Correction 19 October 2018: The second chart on homicide charges has been amended to reflect that while the number of people being caught has risen, the charge rate is still lower than it has been in the past.

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