Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that fraud and computer misuse offences account for almost half of all crimes.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that there were 5.8 million incidents of crime in the year ending June 2017. But once estimates of fraud and computer misuse are included, the number rises to 10.8 million. Of the 5m offences coming under the Fraud and Computer Misuse heading, 1.6m were computer misuse, and over 3.3m were fraud. Perhaps most notably, over half of fraud offences (57%; 1.9 million incidents) were cyber-related.
It is important to note that statistics for fraud and computer misuse are classified as Experimental Statistics by the ONS, which is why these figures are not included in headline estimates. The reason for this is that these figures have not been included in the survey for the full two years needed to make annual comparisons. The first set of figures that qualify for annual comparisons will be available on 25 January 2018.
Commenting on today's figures, techUK's Programme Manage for Justice & Emergency Services, Henry Rex, said
"Today's estimates from the ONS once again emphasise the scale of the threat posed by cyber-crime and fraud. With Fraud and Computer Misuse offences accounting for very nearly half of all crime, and with over half of all fraud being cyber-enabled, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies be equipped with the tools and resources they need to tackle this challenge.
Mechanisms must be put in place to allow the police to work closely with industry, civil society and other stakeholders in Government, to enable quick access to the appropriate capabilities and share best practice. Furthermore, improved mechanisms for the reporting of cyber-incidents would give a more accurate picture of the threat landscape and allow for better co-ordination in response to cyber threats."