Crime and justice chart of the week

Chart: What offences are people most often prosecuted for?

About 1.4 million criminal cases were prosecuted in England and Wales last year. Motoring offences and minor non-violent offences such as TV licence evasion are the most commonly prosecuted, with many more cases in those categories dealt with by fixed penalties or other out-of-court disposals. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart Data source: Ministry of Justice, 2019

Chart: One in ten of us is on the National DNA Database

About 5.3 million people in England and Wales (about 10% of the population aged 10 or over) have their DNA stored on the National DNA Database, one of the largest DNA databases in the world. Police routinely collect DNA from arrested suspects, and it can be stored (often permanently) if they are convicted of almost any offence. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart Data source: Home Office, 2019

Chart: More than 1,400 football arrests each season

Over the past five years, more than 1,400 people have been arrested on average each season for football-related offences across the top five English divisions, with incidents reported at over 1,000 different matches. Most arrests are for violence, and about half are for offences outside the grounds themselves. More fans are arrested at away games, even though far fewer fans typically travel than attend home games. However, the rate of arrests at football matches overall is low, at about 3 arrests per 100,000 match spectators.

Chart: Seizures of the most harmful drugs at UK borders are falling

Border Force is responsible for seizing drugs at ports, airports and international parcels depots. However, reports by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration suggest drug-detection efforts are hindered by understaffing, lack of training and focus on conducting passport checks on travellers. Most drug seizures are of small amounts: only 19% of seizures involve more than one kilogram of drugs. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart

Chart: When police use force, they rarely cause injury

Police reported using force on over 300,000 occasions last year, or about 850 each day, with most incidents involving either handcuffing or other restraint. Almost all force used by police resulted in no injury to the person force was used against. When officers did injure people, the injuries were usually minor. However, since these are new statistics there is likely to be some under-reporting, especially of minor incidents. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart

Chart: Most prison sentences are for violent crimes

About 69,000 adults (more than 95% of them men) are currently serving prison sentences, most of them for violent or sexual offences. However, over 10,000 adults are serving sentences for drug offences, more than for all types of theft combined. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart Data source: Ministry of Justice, 2019

Chart: In five years, crime-related demands on police have almost doubled

One way to understand crime-related demands on police forces is to track ‘crime pressure’, a measure of investigative workload representing the number of crimes reported to a force per officer, weighted according to Office for National Statistics estimates of the relative severity of different crimes. In the past five years, this measure has risen in every police force in England and Wales, and has doubled in many places. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart

Chart: Young offenders are more likely to re-offend than adults

Most people convicted of a crime will not be convicted or cautioned for another offence within 12 months, although young offenders are more likely to offend again than adults. Most re-offending is by a small number of prolific offenders who frequently pass through the criminal justice system – more than 60% of people released from short prison sentences will reoffend within a year. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart

Chart: Sentences for knife carrying are increasing, but not for teens

Sentences for carrying a bladed or pointed article have become more severe for adults over the past decade, with 41% of men now going to prison on conviction. For younger offenders, the picture is different: half of girls and a third of boys caught with a knife receive no penalty – a proportion that is largely unchanged since 2008 – while fewer than one in ten receive a custodial sentence.

Chart: Much of the homicide drop has already been erased

The rapid decrease in the homicide (murder, manslaughter and infanticide) rate in England and Wales between 2000 and 2014 was unprecedented over the previous century, but a third of that decrease has already been reversed. larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart Data sources: Homicide counts 1898 to 2001/02, Homicide counts 2001/02 onwards, Population estimates 1838 to 2018. Notes This chart uses police-recorded homicide offences because that time series extends further back in time than the Home Office Homicide Index, the main alternative source of homicide data.