Computer crime drops by a third in England and Wales

Computer crime drops by a third in England and Wales

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Computer crime in England and Wales has dropped by 31% over the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In the year ending March 2018, offences involving computer misuse plummeted by more than 500,000 compared to the year before.

This was largely due to a 40% drop in computer viruses, down to merely 710,000 from March 2017, suggesting anti-virus technology is growing more popular after high-profile events last year.

Successful hacking crimes also dropped by 12% to 528,000 over the course of the year, suggesting people are growing more aware of security standards online.

The figures are a marked difference to crime on the streets, where murders have risen by 12% and offences involving knives or sharp instruments by 16%.

The numbers are in stark contrast to those referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) by Action Fraud, which increased by 9% in the latest year.

Action Fraud’s numbers rocketed 48% with an increased number of people reporting hacking attempts via social media and email.

According to the ONS: “This is thought to reflect an increasing awareness of social media scams among the public, leading to a greater likelihood of such incidents (including unsuccessful attempts) being reported.”

The ONS stated: “It is important to consider that Action Fraud data on computer misuse represent only a small fraction of all computer misuse, as many incidents are not reported.”

In comparison, the ONS figures recorded an estimated 1.2 million offences, compared to 21,000 referred to NFIB.

The Office for National Statistics, which published the figures, said: “Over recent decades, we’ve seen a fall in overall levels of crime, a trend that now looks to be stabilising.”

The figures also show that 48% of investigations into recorded crimes are closed without a suspect being identified.



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