Crime survey reveals 12 million cyber offences took place in one year

Cyber Security

The number of cyber crimes taking place almost doubled in the year to September 2016, according to the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales.

This information comes from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), whose experimental data has revealed there were 3.6m instances of fraud in England and Wales during that time, as well as 2m computer misuse offences, as the offences were included in the report for the first time.

The figures were collated through a survey of people across England and Wales, talking about their experience of crime in interviews. Their responses indicate that the number of cyber crimes taking place has risen from 6.6m to 11.8m in one year.

However, no trends can be correctly identified, with the ONS highlighting that new categories had been added in the latest report and therefore likely resulting in the number being considerably higher.

“In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends, but their numbers gave fallen substantially since then,” said John Flatley of the ONS.

“When the crime survey started [in 1982], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented. Today’s figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence.”

Statistics indicate that more ‘traditional’ crimes such as theft and burglary are falling, but cyber criminals are ramping up their attacks and exploiting weak cyber security systems.