ONS crime stats: fraud & cyber crime still dominate

The Office for National Statistics has today published estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The figures, for the year ending March 2018, once again reveal that a person is more likely to be a victim of fraud or cyber crime than any other offence.

The CSEW estimates that there were 6 million crimes excluding fraud and computer misuse, but this rises to 10.5 million when those two are included. So with an estimated 3.24 million fraud offences and 1.23m of computer misuse, these two crime types together account for almost half of all crimes. Crucially, the ONS report noted that “over half of fraud incidents for the latest survey year were thought to be cyber-related.”

Responding to the survey, techUK’s Programme Manager for Justice & Emergency Services, Henry Rex, said

Since October 2015 CSEW stats have typically emphasised the scale of the threat we face from cyber crime and fraud, and today’s figures are no different. An individual is more likely to fall victim to these crimes than any other. As the City of London Police have pointed out, there are still grave issues around under-reporting, and since the Crime Survey does not include crimes against businesses, the true scale of this challenge may be even greater.

Law enforcement, Government and the tech industry continue to work closely together to ensure that police are equipped with the skills and tools they need to tackle this threat. And techUK looks forward to continuing our work bringing all parties together to explore how tech can best be deployed to combat the changing threat of fraud and cyber crime.

The 31% decrease in computer misuse itself (down to 1.2 million offences) is gratifying. Given that it is attributed to a fall in computer viruses, this perhaps hints that messages around basic cyber security are starting to get through. But the fact that there has been no change in hacking offences or fraud suggests that there is still a long way to go.

  • Henry Rex

    Henry Rex

    HEAD OF PUBLIC SECTOR | CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
    T 020 7331 2017

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