To understand reporting behaviour, we look at five things:
how much crime is reported to Police (according to victims)
what types of crime are reported or not reported to Police
who is more or less likely to report crime to Police
why adults report or don’t report crime to Police
how much crime is recorded in Police statistics.
‘Reported crime’ includes incidents where the victim or a member of the victim’s household reported the incident to Police, or where the victim knew that the Police had found out about the incident in some way.
In 2013, more household offences (38%) were reported to Police than personal offences (24%). These percentages are in line with previous years with no statistically significant changes over time.
Just under a quarter (24%) of all violent interpersonal offences were reported to Police in 2013. We found no statistically significant change over time to the proportion of violent interpersonal offences reported to Police.
23% of violent interpersonal offences by a family member (including both current and ex-partners) were reported to Police.
24% of violent interpersonal offences by an intimate partner were reported to Police.
28% of violent interpersonal offences by someone known to the victim (who was not an intimate partner or family member) were reported to Police.
23% of violent interpersonal offence by a stranger were reported to Police.
To help us understand why people chose not to report crime to Police, we:
looked at reporting behaviour by factors related to both the ‘offence’ and the ‘impact on the victim’
asked victims why Police didn’t come to know about the incident.
On average, 68% of incidents in 2013 went unreported to Police.
The incidents most likely to be unreported to Police in 2013 were those:
where the victim defined the incident as ‘just something that happens’ (90%)
where no injury was sustained (88%) (for assaults and sexual offences only)
where the victim was affected ‘not at all’ (84%)
perceived as being less serious (84%)
where the victim defined the incident as ‘wrong, but not a crime’ (84%)
where the victim was affected ‘just a little’ (77%)
where the offender was an intimate partner (76%)
The most common reasons overall for not reporting an incident to Police in 2013 were that it was either too trivial, there was no loss, they didn’t feel it was worth reporting, or the attempt was unsuccessful (49%).