Crime in statistics

agendaNi takes a look at the police recorded crime statistics for the year 2014/15.

At the time of writing, the most recently published police recorded crime statistics relate to crimes recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland until 30 November 2015. The figures dating back to 1 April 2015 are provisional and will be subject to change until the finalised 2015/16 data is published in May 2016.

Across Northern Ireland, crime has shown a downwards trend over the last 10 years, from a peak of 138,132 in 2002/03 to 98,558 crimes recorded in 2012/13. However, the level of 104,473 crimes recorded during the 12 months to November 30 2015 show an increase of 1,279 crimes on the previous 2014/15 figure of 103,176.

Policing districts

As part of the Review of Public Administration, which came into effect on 1 April 2015, the PSNI has moved from eight to 11 policing districts. The level of crime recorded in Belfast City has increased over the past two years with 3,315 offences recorded in August 2015 but that level had fallen to 2,814 by November 2015.

An increase in crime over the past two years can also be seen in Lisburn and Castlereagh, Ards and North Down, Newry, Mourne and Down, Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, Fermanagh and Omagh and Antrim and Newtownabbey.

Most districts have seen lower levels of crime recorded in November 2015 when compared with October 2015 except for Lisburn and Castlereagh and Newry, Mourne and Down. 

Types of crime

The main crime categories of violence against the person (sexual offences, criminal damage, drug offences, possession of weapons offences and miscellaneous crimes against society) have shown an upwards trend over the past two years. However, theft offences, robbery and public order offences have remained fairly consistent. 

Violence with injury (including homicide) has shown a slight upwards trend over the last two years. The lowest level was seen in January 2014 (1,009 offences) with the highest levels recorded in August 2015 (1,392 offences). November’s recorded figure was considerably lower than August’s peak with 1,148 incidents recorded.

The trend in the recording of violent crimes without injury bears a striking resemblance to those recorded with injury. The trend has been in an upward direction for the past two years, reaching a two year high in in July 2014 when 1,908 offences were recorded. In August 2015 there were 1,875 crimes recorded and in November 2015, 1,511 offences were recorded.

The rate of recorded robberies has remained fairly flat over the last two years. The high for the period was set in January 2014 when 104 offences were recorded. It was in May 2015 that the lowest number of offences were recorded (42), while in November 2015, 65 offences were recorded. 

Criminal damage appears to have been on the rise over the past two years as the number of recorded incidents of this type has risen considerably. In February 2014, 1,414 crimes were recorded as criminal damage but by October 2015, levels has increased steadily to a peak of 1,950. In November 2015 this figure had fallen slightly to 1,544.

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