The 10 Most Common Criminal Charges of Today Are Not What You Might Think

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Victim-based crimes in England and Wales have risen by 11% between April 2017 and March 2018, according to recently revealed statistics from ONS. Criminal defense solicitors Carter Moore, have put together a list of the top 10 crimes for England and Wales.

1. Assault without injury

Assault with injury is up by a full 25%, with  509,012 crimes reported between April 2017 to March 2018. Additionally, assault without injury accounted for 87% of all ‘non injury’ related violence.

2. Assault with injury

Assaults resulting in injury were also on the increase, but only slightly at 7%. The number of cases of assault with injury reported increased by 7% between April 2017 to March 2018 to 466,761. Assaults with injury accounted for 91% of all violent crimes causing injuries to the victims.

3. Shoplifting

Perhaps a surprising statistic was on shoplifting, as it turns out that this is the third most common crime committed in England and Wales is shoplifting. A total of 382,100 crimes of this nature were reported between April 2017 and March 2018. This accounts for a 3% rise from the previous year.

4. Residential burglary

There were 309,797 residential burglaries reported from April 2017 to March 2018 of which 3,315 were distraction burglaries. The figures from the previous years were not reported by the ONS but residential burglaries accounted for 71% of all burglaries committed in England and Wales.

5. Public fear, alarm or distress

Between March 2017 to March 2018 there were 285,426 cases of public fear, alarm or distress reported, a 43% rise from the previous year’s figures. This accounts for 74% of all public order offenses reported.

6. Theft from a vehicle

A total of 279,974 thefts from vehicles were reported between April 2017 and March 2018. This is an 8% rise from April 2016 to March 2017 and accounted for 61% of all vehicle offenses reported. Although the crime increased by 8% the figures are significantly less than the 663,679 thefts from vehicles in England and Wales reported from April 2002 to March 2003.

7. Criminal damage to a vehicle

Not much of a change within a year’s figures, but the numbers are generally high with criminal damage to a vehicle. There were 232,659 reports of criminal damage to vehicles in England and Wales from April 2017 to March 2018. Criminal damage to vehicles accounts for 41% of all criminal damages occurring from April 2017 to March 2018.

8. Malicious communication

Between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 159,029 malicious communication crimes recorded in England and Wales. This includes various types of communication which are intended to cause harm, anxiety or distress. It was the first time that it had been reported on by ONS and makes up 54% of all stalking and harassment crimes reported.

9. Criminal damage to a dwelling

There was a total of 141,863 criminal damages to a dwelling reported from April 2017 to March 2018. This accounts for a 7% increase on the figures taken from April 2016 and March 2017 and accounts for 25% of all criminal damages reported in England and Wales.

10. Harassment

In England and Wales, there were 124,437 reports of harassment according to the ONS between April 2017 and March 2018. This is a 43% drop from the previous year’s figures taken between April 2016 and March 2017. The harassment crimes reported account for 78% of all stalking and harassment crimes reported. Although the number of harassment cases has fallen significantly, the figures are still 65% more than those recorded between April 2014 and March 2015.


There has been a rise in the number of crimes being recorded in recent years which could explain why figures and types of crimes committed have increased. The number of victims coming forward to report the crimes especially within the category of harassment crimes. Both of these are welcome to improve the overall understanding of the state of criminal offenses in England and Wales.