Cyber crime stats to be published for first time


Crime levels will be set out in unprecedented detail today with the publication of official estimates of fraud and cyber offences.

Until last year the two categories had not been analysed in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

In October the Office for National Statistics published "experimental" figures which indicated there were 5.1 million incidents of fraud in England and Wales in the previous year, with 3.8 million victims.

In addition, there were an estimated 2.5 million incidents which fall under the Computer Misuse Act, such as hacking attacks.

The data also suggested that on average one in 12 adults has experienced fraud and one in 22 is a victim of cyber fraud.

The disclosures prompted claims that the overall crime count is substantially higher than previously thought. However, statisticians stressed the provisional estimates do not necessarily imply a recent rise in crime.

New questions were added to the CSEW in October and estimates of fraud and cyber crime based on the findings will be released today alongside the latest crime statistics report.

Crime data is presented in two indexes - offences reported to and recorded by police forces, and the CSEW in which people are questioned about their experiences of crime.

The last set of figures published in April showed that overall, the survey found there were about 6.4 million incidents of crime against households and residents aged 16 and over for the year ending December 2015 - a 7% fall compared with the previous year.

Police-recorded crime rose by 7% to 4.4 million offences. The ONS said most of this rise is thought to be owing to improved crime recording by the police.