Home > Experience of crime: findings from the 2012/13 Northern Ireland crime survey.

Campbell, P and Cadogan, G (2013) Experience of crime: findings from the 2012/13 Northern Ireland crime survey. Belfast: Analytical Services Group, Department of Justice. Research and Statistical Bulletin 8/2013.

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A National Statistics publication, the bulletin focuses on crime victimisation rates in Northern Ireland for the following broad crime types:
• crimes affecting the whole household (mainly property offences), including vandalism, domestic burglary, vehicle-related theft, bicycle theft and other household theft; and
• personal crimes against respondents only (mainly violent offences), including common assault, wounding, mugging (robbery and snatch theft from the person), stealth theft from the person and other theft of personal property.

Key findings:
• Results from the 2012/13 Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS) estimate that 10.9% of all households and their adult occupants were victims of at least one NICS crime during the 12 months prior to interview. While not statistically different from the NICS 2011/12 figure (11.2%), this represents the lowest NICS victimisation (prevalence) rate since the measure was first reported in NICS 1998 (23.0%).
• This downward trend in victimisation estimates since NICS 1998 is consistent with police recorded crime figures for Northern Ireland which, at 100,389 offences in 2012/13, equates to the lowest level of crime recorded by the police since new counting rules were introduced in 1998/99.
• While 2012/13 victimisation (prevalence) rates for almost all NICS offence types remained on a par with those measured in 2011/12, a statistically significant decrease (p<0.05) was observed in the victimisation (prevalence) rate for burglary with entry (1.3% to 0.8%).
• Findings from NICS 2012/13 and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW; formerly the British Crime Survey) 2012/13 show that the risk of becoming a victim of crime remains lower in Northern Ireland (10.9%) than in England and Wales (18.7%). These figures compare with 11.2% and 21.3% (respectively) in 2011/12.
• The 2012/13 surveys also show that incidence rates per 10,000 households / adults were higher in England and Wales than in Northern Ireland for all crime types examined. The largest numerical differences related to: all household crime (2,168 in England and Wales v 1,102 in Northern Ireland); all vandalism (737 v 375); vehicle vandalism (510 v 195); all personal crime (755 v 461); and all vehicle-related theft (431 v 143).
• An estimated 146,000 incidents of crime occurred during the 12-month recall periods for NICS 2012/13. This suggests that the number of incidents of crime has fallen by half (50.5%) since 2003/04 when the estimated number of NICS incidents peaked at 295,000. This equates to 149,000 fewer crimes in NICS 2012/13 than in NICS 2003/04.
• Just over half (52%) of all NICS 2012/13 crimes that are comparable with recorded crime were reported to the police, an increase from 44% in 2011/12. This compares with 44% in England and Wales (CSEW 2012/13). Burglary displayed the highest reporting rate in both Northern Ireland (68%) and England and Wales (71%), reflecting the seriousness of the incidents and the associated likelihood of insurance claims.
• The most common reason cited by NICS 2012/13 respondents for not reporting a crime to the police was ‘too trivial / no loss / police would not / could not do anything’ (71%). This was followed by ‘private matter / dealt with the matter ourselves’ (17%) and ‘inconvenient to report’ (15%).
• Findings from NICS 2012/13 show that households located in areas perceived to have a high level of anti-social behaviour were more likely than any other socio-demographic group examined to have been victims of burglary (5.3%); vehicle-related theft (4.6% for vehicle owners); or vandalism (10.2%). These rates compare with NICS 2012/13 averages of 1.5%, 1.6% and 2.6% (respectively).
• In terms of violent crime, NICS 2012/13 results indicate that respondents living in self-perceived high-ASB areas (6.5%) and young adults aged 16 to 24 (6.1%) were more at risk than any other groups examined. Other groups with above average rates were those who visited a pub/bar one or more evenings per week (4.4%); respondents living in Policing District H (4.4%); and respondents who were single (4.0%).

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
December 2013
Identification #
Research and Statistical Bulletin 8/2013
44 p.
Analytical Services Group, Department of Justice
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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