In order to address the wide range of seriousness, police recorded violence against the person is separated into two subcategories: most serious violence against the person (including homicide, attempted murder and more serious wounding)
other violence against the person (including less serious wounding, threat or conspiracy to murder, harassment and assault without injury)
All categories also include attempts and threats to commit those offences
(apart from attempted murder and threat/conspiracy to murder which are themselves separate categories) that may not involve injury.
The British Crime Survey (BCS) covers wounding, assault with minor injury and assault with no injury
BCS wounding includes offences that correspond to police recorded more serious wounding and part of less serious wounding
BCS assault with minor injury broadly corresponds to the remaining part of police recorded less serious wounding
BCS assault with no injury corresponds to police recorded assault without injury
Police recorded sexual offences cover different types of unlawful sexual activity, including rape and sexual assault. Some of the offences do not necessarily involve violence: unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 16 or with a mental disorder, for example. As with violence against the person, the range of seriousness is addressed by creating two subcategories:
most serious sexual crime (including rapes, sexual assaults, and sexual activity with children)
other sexual offences (including soliciting, exploitation of prostitution, and other unlawful sexual activity between consenting adults)
Because ofXthe small numbers of sexual offences picked up by face-to-face BCS interviews, results are too unreliable to report.
As with violence against the person, police recorded robberies cover a wide range of seriousness from armed bank robberies to muggings for mobile phones or small amounts of money.
The BCS covers robberies against adults living in private households. However, as one of the rarer crimes, the number of robbery victims interviewed is too low to provide robust estimates for individual years; police statistics provide a better measure of trends. Any BCS figures relating to robbery in this chapter should be treated with cautionXbecause ofXthe low number of victims.
BCS violence type
Violent crime as measured by the BCS can alternatively be divided into four types, broadly based on the relationship between the victim and offender:
domestic violence – assaults and woundings that involve partners, ex-partners, other relatives or other household members
stranger violence – assaults and woundings in which the victim did not have any information about the offender(s), or did not know and had never seen the offender(s) before
acquaintance violence – assaults and woundings in which the victim knew one or more of the offenders, at least by sight
mugging – robbery, attempted robbery, and snatch theft from the person (snatch theft is not included in the overall violence measure)
Trends in police recorded violent crime can be very difficult to interpret, as they have been distorted by a number of factors. It is important to consider the following issues when interpreting trends:
police recorded crime data are subject to changes in the levels of public reporting of incidents
local policing activity and priorities affect the levels of reported and recorded violent crime
police recorded crime data are subject to changes in police recording practices, including those relating to national counting rules and crime recording standards
The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), introduced in April 2002, again resulted in increased recording of violent and sexual crimes particularly for less serious offences, as well as for some other offences. There was an estimated NCRS effect of 23 per cent on violence against the person offences in the first 12 months of implementation.