HC Deb 26 February 2002 vol 380 cc1229-30W
Mr. Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of(a) rape,(b) assault, (c) murder,(d) violent theft and(e) armed robbery there were in Wales in each year since 1997. [36422]

Mr. Denham

The available details from recorded crime data are given in the table. For assault, the total of offences of assault on a constable, common assault and racially aggravated common assault has been used; the former two categories were introduced as recorded crimes on 1 April 1998, and the latter was counted separately from 1 April 1999. The total for all homicides is given, and for violent theft, the robbery total is given. Armed robbery includes offences where air weapons were used.

Also, the British Crime Survey has shown that, in England and Wales as a whole, the number of violent crimes recorded in the survey decreased by 19 per cent. between the 1999 and 2000 calendar years, whereas violent crime recorded by the police increased by an estimated five per cent. Violent crime recorded by the police may therefore not necessarily be a reflection of real changes in the level of violent crime.

The annual risk of being a victim once or more of violent crime in Wales was 2.4 per cent, this being based on results for 1999 and 2000 from the British Crime Survey. This was lower than for any English region with the England and Wales average risk being 3.9 per cent.

There was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which expanded the offences covered, and placed a greater emphasis on counting crimes in terms of numbers of victims. Numbers of recorded crimes after this date are therefore not directly comparable with previous years.

Recorded crimes in Wales
Year Rape Assaults Homicide Robbery Robbery using a firearm
19971 374 n/a 43 811 25
1998–992 376 8,222 32 853 27
1999–20002 387 11,508 35 909 22
2000–012 360 12,496 40 890 39
1 Calendar year
2 Year ending March

It should be noted that recorded violent crime is subject to changes in reporting and recording. For example, the 2001 British Crime Survey found that, over England and Wales as a whole, reporting to the police of common assault rose from 29 per cent. in 1999 to 39 per cent. in the year 2000.