Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) show that, for the offences it covers, there were an estimated 7.1 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending June 2014. This represents a 16% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.But is it?
Think about it for a moment: when was the last time someone tried to rob you..? Well it happened to me on Saturday:
Good Morning to you ,
We hope all is well with you and every member of your family. Please, my name is Mrs Gaba from Togo and i work with a branch of Western Union Money Transfer office here in Togo and we wish to notify you that some amount of money is deposited in our Custody Account here in your name. Contact us on this email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com) for more information about your payment . God bless you as we look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs Gaba .
Of course, I did not respond to the god fearing and most courteous Mrs Gaba. But the point I am making is that just because this attempt to steal my money was in the form of a very polite email, does not make it any the less an act of crime.
For example, do you know how much money was stolen from people just looking for love and companionship in 2013? According to the City of London police:
As the use of the internet for dating increases, so do the number of scams associated with it . . . and the amount of money lost. In the UK, this type of fraud is costing the victims a heart-breaking £24.5million per year, with over 2,800 people reporting online dating related crimes in 2013 alone
That is 2800 victims of crime that means they each not only lost (on average) nearly £9000 but they also suffered the emotional damage of having trusted someone to then find out they were ripping them off. How will that impact their future lives?
These are crimes: nothing more or less.
So does the Government count these crimes? They are NOT counted in the ONS surveys. In March 2012, the National Fraud Authority published its "Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI)":
This year’s Annual Fraud Indicator has put the loss to the UK economy from fraud at £73 billion.
Wow. I thought, I wonder if that has gone up or down since? So I looked, and found this:
The National Fraud Authority closed in March 2014
Functions have been transferred to a variety of other organisations but I cannot find any other comparable "AFI" figures (perhaps you can?) So it seems that there is no way of easily telling whether fraud (both online and via old fashioned methods) is going up or down.
Perhaps the Government does not want you to know...?
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