The Crime Survey for England and Wales

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) quarterly Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), has just been released. This is a face-to-face victimisation survey that gives valuable insight into the past year in terms of crime changeability. We will go over some of the major shifts since the last release and how they may affect us regarding burglaries in 2019.

Changes Reported in CSEW (Year Ending December 2018)

Police Recorded Burglary:

  • 3% decrease from last year in burglaries
  • Residential – 298,276 reports of burglary
  • Non-Residential – 126,570 reports of burglary

Police Recorded Robbery:

  • 11% increase from last year in robberies
  • 11% increase in robberies involving a knife or sharp instrument

Other Notable Stats:

  • 23% in theft from outside a dwelling (CSEW)
  • 8% increase in all theft (CSEW)
  • 7% increase in all Police Recorded Crime
  • 2% decrease in the number of police recorded offences involving firearms

When is this information from?

As mentioned in the most recent ONS statistical bulletin: “the latest CSEW figures presented in this release are based on interviews conducted between October 2017 and September 2018, measuring peoples’ experiences of crime in the 12 months before the interview.”

What is the Difference between Burglary and Robbery?

What is Burglary? Defined by the Theft Act 1968, burglary is the act of trespass onto a building or part of a building with intent to steal property. Whilst robbery, is defined by the act theft from a victim present, by use or threat of force.

This means that someone does not have to be present when a burglary occurs, such as when a homeowner is away from their property.
Robberies are therefore classified as a higher-harm form of theft and are usually more violent; but luckily do not occur as often.


We can see the rise in overall theft offences is driven by the increase in other household theft; specifically “theft from outside a dwelling” which is up by 23%.

The shift from last year is shown by the 3% reduction in police reported burglaries, whilst robberies have risen by 11%, reflecting the general trend of an 8% increase in theft.

Gun crime has dropped by 2%, but generally mirrors the growth in knife related crime of 6%, specifically an 11% increase in Robberies involving knives or sharp objects. This reflects the predilection towards knife crime in the UK as a whole.

Many of these lower-volume, higher-harm types of violence tend to be concentrated in metropolitan police force areas such as London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

This means although theft in general is decreasing, the nature of crime is changing and becoming more sporadic and violent. As mentioned earlier this year through the BBC; Policing Minister Nick Hurd stated the chance of being a victim of crime remains low, but added: “We accept certain crimes, particularly violent crime, have increased and we are doing everything possible to reverse the trend.”

Being Prepared

What does this mean for us? Being prepared and understanding how crimes can occur is vital in reducing the chances of becoming a victim. You can read our article about what makes your property appealing to burglars here.

Nobody really knows how they will react if a crime occurs, but having support is invaluable, this is why at Verisure UK we advocate monitored alarm services because they provide that extra support. Having a specialised Alarm Receiving Centre operator who is immediately available to help – whether it be sending you much needed emergency services or organising a guard to protect your property if it becomes insecure.

There are so many ways in which crime can be both limited and managed, the Metropolitan Police outline some further ways to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our properties safe. We never quite know when thieves will strike but we can take provisions to reduce the chances and the impact.

Reporting Crimes

If you witness or experience a crime, remember to report it.

If it is an emergency, call 999.

You can report a crime online or by calling 101 for non-emergency enquiries*. (If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our text-to-phone service on 18001 101) *Calls to 101 cost 15 pence per call from landlines and mobiles, no matter how long you’re on the phone*.

For Transport for London (Tube and Rail Incidents) you can report a crime by texting what happened, where and when, to 61016 or calling 101.


Victim Support are a charity who provide free and confidential support. As they are a independent organisation they can help without the involvement of the criminal justice system, unless they believe someone is at risk. They also provide information about coping with crime, keeping yourself safe, the court process and your rights as a witness.

From emotional and practical support to project work or administration, if you have been impacted by crime and want to give back they have a diverse range of volunteer opportunities.

Tighter Communities = Safer Communities

It’s important to form safe communities, we can take steps towards this by creating networks and opening conversation about what positive change we want to make locally.

Look out for our next article regarding how to create or join your local Neighbourhood Watch.