The crime rate in England and Wales has hit an all-time high, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The authorities recorded 6.5 million crimes in 12 months to June 2022, an increase from previously recorded 6.3 million cases.

There has been a significant increase in violent and sexual offences. The sex crime cases were up by 20%, while violent attacks saw a 13% increase, per the data provided by the ONS.

According to a report in The Mirror, the rate of criminals being charged has fallen to a new low of 5.4%, a considerable drop from over 15% just seven years ago.

The report also highlighted that the number of sexual offences had decreased during lockdowns, but a "substantial increase" has been seen since April 2021.

The data showed 196,889 sexual offences, up from 164,043 the year before. More than 70,000 rape offences were recorded in the year to June 2022, an increase of 20% from 59,046 in 2019-20. Crimes against a person also registered a 20% increase when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The ONS said that an increase in recorded sexual offences may "reflect a number of factors, including "the impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people's willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims."

It added that some of the increase "may reflect improvements seen in recording and reporting over the last few years."

Even though there has been a significant increase in sexual crimes, knife crime remains below pre-pandemic level. The authorities believe that restrictions imposed during lockdown have been responsible for the decrease in crime rates.

A Home Office spokesperson admitted: "Everyone should have the security of a safe street and home. The fall in overall charge rates is deeply concerning. We are injecting record funds into policing."

It said that the number of rapes and sexual offences was "very concerning", adding it was "very clear that there is still a long way to go in tackling rape."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told the PA news agency that more officers will be recruited to deal with the increasing crime rate.

Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON