Case Studies

Crime stats

by Mark Rowe

The latest crime statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), covering the year to March 2021, were significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and government instructions to limit social contact. While some crime types, particularly theft offences, saw decreases, these were offset by rises in fraud and computer misuse offences, resulting in no change in overall levels of crime, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Total crime excluding fraud and computer misuse decreased by 19pc compared to the year ending March 2019; this was largely driven by big decreases in thefts.

A telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) began data collection on May 20, 2020 to capture trends in crime while pre-pandemic face-to-face interviewing was suspended.

Billy Gazard from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice said: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on patterns of crime. There were large decreases in theft offences, such as domestic burglary and theft from the person, as more people stayed at home and limited their social contact.

“At the same time, there were substantial increases in fraud and computer misuse offences such as hacking, as fraudsters took advantage of behavioural changes during the pandemic, such as increased online shopping. The number of people who became victims of violent crime also fell, driven by decreases in violence where the offender was a stranger. This likely reflects a decrease in violence taking place in public spaces during national lockdown restrictions.”


Stuart Dobbie, SVP, International at Callsign, said: “The recent ONS stats highlight how online scams have led to a substantial rise in fraud during the pandemic. Consumers aren’t to blame. The technology organisations are using to interact with genuine consumers has been usurped by fraudsters.

“Fraudsters are monopolising channels such as SMS and email which are outdated methods of communication that have simply been digitised for the modern world. We can no longer rely on these channels to authenticate identities. Our own research shows that SMS appears to be the weakest link, with only 5% of consumers thinking it is a safe channel to communicate with their bank or retailer. Alongside this, over a third (38%) of UK consumers think identity is the problem and that people should prove who they are when signing up to use a platform to stop scammers.

“To ensure their brand is not tarnished by scammers, businesses must re-evaluate the communications channels they use to interact with customers to better establish trust. By digitally transforming from the ground up (instead of simply digitising), organisations can overcome the fraudsters, protect their brand, create seamless and secure customer journeys and build all important digital trust.”

Related News


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay on top of security news and events.

© 2024 Professional Security Magazine. All rights reserved.

Website by MSEC Marketing