Crime statistics in Northern Ireland, last updated on 5 August 2015.

Recorded crime

There were 105,072 crimes recorded by the police in 2014/15.

Crime has shown a general downwards trend over the last twelve years; it reached a peak of 142,496 in 2002/03 and fell to 100,389 in 2012/13. Since then crime has increased in each of the last two years bringing it back to the level of crime recorded five years ago in 2010/11. The level of crime in 2014/15 is now the 5th lowest annual level recorded in Northern Ireland since the new Home Office counting rules were introduced in 1998/99.

Experience of crime

Results from the 2013/14 Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS) estimate that 10.0% of all households and their adult occupants were victims of at least one crime in the previous year. This represents the lowest rate since the measure was first reported in NICS 1998 (23.0%).

A comparison of findings from NICS 2013/14 and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 2013/14 shows that the risk of becoming a victim of crime remains lower in Northern Ireland (10.0%) than in England and Wales (17.0%)

Domestic abuse crime

There were 13,426 domestic abuse crimes recorded in 2014/15.

The figure for 2014/15 is the highest level recorded since the beginning of the statistics series in 2004/05. Having fluctuated within a relatively narrow range between 2004/05 and 2010/11, recorded levels of domestic abuse crime have been showing increases each year since that point (up from 9,546 in 2010/11 to the current figure of 13,426 in 2014/15).

Hate crime

There were 921 crimes recorded by police as having a race hate motivation in 2014/15.

The level of racist incidents and crimes has increased each year since 2011/12.

There were 209 crimes recorded by police as having a homophobic motivation in 2014/15.

Homophobic motivated crimes reached their highest level recorded to date in 2014/15. They have been increasing year on year since 2011/12.

There were 1,043 crimes recorded by police as having a sectarian motivation in 2014/15.

The number of sectarian crimes for 2014/15 is the highest since 2009/10 when 1,264 sectarian crimes were recorded.

Anti-social behaviour

There were 60,982 anti-social behaviour incidents recorded by police in 2014/15.

This is the second lowest level of ASB recorded by PSNI in a financial year period since this measure was introduced in April 2006 with the lowest being in 2013/14.

Prosecutions

There were 31,480 prosecutions disposed at all courts in 2014. Of these, 26,607 or 84.5% resulted in a conviction.

Convictions

Monetary penalties were the most frequent disposal at all courts in 2014, with 14,572 or 54.8% of all convictions having this type of disposal as their primary outcome.

There was a custodial outcome in 3,446 or 13.0% of cases at all courts in 2014.

Prisons

The average daily prison population was 1,826 in 2013. With the exception of a levelling off from 2007 to 2010, the average prison population has been increasing steadily since 2003.

At the end of September 2013, Northern Ireland had 101 prisoners for every 100,000 population. The corresponding rates were: 148 for England & Wales; 147 for Scotland; and 88 for the Republic of Ireland.

Confidence in policing

Based on the findings of the Northern Ireland Crime Survey, the proportion of people who expressed overall confidence in policing in the 12-months to December 2014 was 80.0%. (This is ‘overall confidence’ measure is a composite of several indicators covering both specific confidence in the police and on wider policing arrangements such as views on the effectiveness/independence of the Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman.)

Specifically, 84.8% expressed confidence in the day-to-day service provided by police for all the people of Northern Ireland and 79.9% expressed confidence that police treat Catholics and Protestants equally in Northern Ireland as a whole.

Confidence in the criminal justice system

Again, based on Crime Survey interviews conducted in the 12-months ending December 2014, findings indicate that 40.1% of respondents were confident that the CJS as a whole is effective; and 58.5% were confident that it was fair. 

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