Edited by John Flatley, Chris Kershaw, Kevin Smith, Rupert Chaplin and Debbie Moon
This overview draws out the main themes from the report and considers how the results relate to the broader picture for crime trends internationally. While this is not a systematic review of the literature it discusses possible hypotheses for the reasons behind crime trends to place the results in a better context.
There are two main sources of official statistics on crime: the police recorded series and the British Crime Survey (BCS). The BCS is a nationally representative sample survey (now based on more than 45,000 respondents) of the population resident in households in England and Wales. As a household-based survey, the BCS does not cover all offences or all population groups. While police recorded crime has a wider coverage of offences (including crimes such as drug offences that are often termed ‘victimless’) and covers the entire population, it