Overall crime measured by the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, formerly the British Crime Survey) was unchanged from the previous year, according to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
However, the provisional number of homicides (550) recorded by the police in 2011/12 dropped by 14% to the lowest level since 1983 (also 550).
Crimes recorded by the police fell by 4% in 2011/12, continuing the downward trend seen in recent years. Just under four million offences were recorded by the police, the lowest since 2002/03. Overall police recorded violent crime in England and Wales dropped by 7% (from 822,000 offences in 2010/11 to 763,000 offences in 2011/12) and robberies by 2%.
While burglary and vehicle theft recorded by the police also fell, other theft offences have risen by 2%, following a 4% rise the previous year. This was driven by increases in theft of unattended property (including personal property and commercial property such as metal), thefts from the person (such as pickpocketing), bicycle theft and shoplifting.
While the latest figures from the CSEW show no change in overall levels of acquisitive crime, this should be viewed in the context of large reductions since the mid 1990s. The latest estimates indicate that five in every 100 vehicle-owning households were victims of vehicle-related theft compared with 20 in 100 in 1995.