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BizReport : Internet : October 16, 2015

Crime rate in England and Wales soars as cybercrime stats added to totals

That latest Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) shows that incidents of crime to the year ending June 2015 is down 8% on the previous year. That is, until online fraud and cybercrime are put into the mix.

by Helen Leggatt

The latest CSEW statistics are the first to include fraud and cyber offences and their inclusion sees total crime rates soar. Cybercrimes include not just hacking and phishing, but virus infection, email hacking or hacking of social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter.

There were 6.5 million incidents of crime in the year ending June 2015 - down 8% but not including cyber and fraud offences. When adding in those digital forms of crime the total figure rises to 14.1 million with 2.5 million incidents of cybercrime and 5.1 million incidents of fraud.

"The ONS [Office of National Statistics'] field trial on experiences of fraud and cybercrime demonstrates how use of new technology and the internet is changing the nature of crime in the UK, said Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime recording and statistics.

The figures bring into question claims that crime is falling in the U.K. While traditionally crimes are thought of in terms of murders, rapes, burglaries, in the digital age fraud and cybercrime are just as damaging to individuals and businesses.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: cybercrime, online security

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