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What is neighbourhood crime?

The definition of neighbourhood crime, including domestic burglary, robbery, theft from the person and vehicle and cycle crime

First published
Neighbourhood crime

For the purposes of this briefing, we have used the definition of neighbourhood crime adopted by the Home Office for the Safer Streets Fund (Home Office, 2020), which includes the following offence types:

  • domestic burglary
  • robbery
  • theft from the person
  • vehicle and cycle crime

Despite long-term trends measured by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), which show a fall in overall crime since its peak in the mid-1990s, the downward trend in neighbourhood crime has started to change. A 4% increase in neighbourhood crime was reported between March 2017 and September 2019 (Office for National Statistics, 2020a).

For the year ending March 2020, neighbourhood crimes made up 35% of total crime (excluding fraud and computer misuse). Of these, 45% were vehicle theft, 30% were dwelling burglaries, 19% were theft from the person and 6% were robbery (Office for National Statistics, 2020b). 

In addition, Home Office analysis has shown that these crimes are not randomly distributed, with the top 5% of areas accounting for 24% of all neighbourhood crimes in 2018/19 (Home Office, 2021).

While COVID-19 has led to a sharp reduction in levels of neighbourhood crime, it is unclear how long these reduced levels will be sustained (Langton, Dixon and Farrell, 2021). Investing in evidence-based measures to prevent neighbourhood crime therefore remains a key priority for UK government.

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