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Update on crime trends - May 2021

16 Jul 2021

Police recorded crime is three per cent lower than in the same period as 2019, provisional data from forces in England and Wales show.

The latest figures cover the 4-week period ending 9 May 2021 and are compared with the equivalent 4-week period in 2019, rather than 2020. This is to allow comparisons with a more normal time-period, since the national lockdown in place at the same time last year (2020) was associated with notable reductions in demands on the police.

Throughout the pandemic, sustained falls in crime have been recorded throughout periods of national lockdown, with crime only rising close to 2019 levels during the summer months of 2020.

The third national lockdown introduced on 6 January 2021 saw a large reduction in recorded crime as individuals were told to stay at home, allowing criminals less opportunities to commit offences.

For the most recent recorded snapshot, for the four weeks to 9 May 2021, serious violent crime, including Grievous Bodily Harm, Actual Bodily Harm and personal robbery reduced by 20 per cent, shoplifting was down 30 per cent, vehicle crime fell by 31 per cent and residential burglary was down by 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

In contrast, there was a 12% rise in rape offences compared with the same four-week period two years previously, which continues the trend reported last month.

Recorded domestic abuse incidents was 3 per cent lower over the snapshot period compared to the same period in 2019. Police continue to monitor this area closely and work closely in partnership with relevant organisations. Police figures do not capture hidden domestic abuse that is not reported.

The latest figures also showed a 17 per cent increase in assaults on emergency workers. While this is an increase, it is lower compared to last month. The rise is thought to be driven by increases in common assaults on police officers, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

Forces have also continued to observe falls in calls to police. Compared to the same period in 2019, 999 call volumes decreased by 5 per cent and 101 calls by 14 per cent.

The national absence rate for officers and staff remains low at 6.5 per cent.

The full data pack is here.