England and Wales experienced 3.6 million cases of fraud and 2 million computer misuse #offenses# in 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS’ research claims that fraud is now the most common offense in England and Wales, with theft coming second and computer misuse coming third. Despite this, more than 80 percent of all fraud offenses are not reported to police, allowing scammers to continue without punishment. The ONS also reported a 22 percent rise in violent offenses, largely driven by the inclusion of harassment cases and online trolling in this category.
The figures come from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year up to September, which now records fraud and cybercrime offenses. “When the CSEW started, fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented,” said John Flatley, who works on crime statistics for the ONS. “Today’s figures demonstrate how crime has changed.”