Wales politics

Crime in Wales 'up 17% in four years', suggests ONS survey

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Media captionLuke Sherbon said he would always be 'wary' after attack

Crime in Wales has gone up by 17% over the past four years, official figures seen by BBC Wales suggest.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales indicates overall crime has fallen in recent years, but the Wales-only figures show there has been a rise.

The survey reported 469,000 incidents in Wales, up from 401,000 in 2011.

Most of the increase in Wales happened in the past year and has been driven by a hike in the number of violent crimes.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales is a survey of households conducted by the Office for National Statistics, which asks people if they have been a victim of crime.

This picks up many crimes that are not reported to the police.

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Media captionProf Martin Innes said a rise in crime figures had been expected for some time by experts

The figures fluctuate from year to year but in recent years more people in Wales, according to the crime survey, have been a victim of crime.

Despite the increase, the recent level of crime is half that experienced 20 years ago, when in 1995 there were 903,000 incidents.

Last month, the latest data for England and Wales combined showed a 16% fall in crime compared with the previous year's survey, representing the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.

The other main source of official crime statistics is the data collected by police forces on the number of recorded crimes.

According to this measure, the number of crimes reported to the police in Wales was 175,888 in the year to June 2014 - up 1.3% from 173,614 a year earlier.

The reliability of police recorded crime figures were questioned in a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year.

In response to the figures, a Home Office spokesman said the survey sample was not designed for regional level analysis.

"The change in the year ending March 2014 Crime Survey figure for Wales (compared with a year earlier) is not statistically significant," he said.

"Because of the small sample size at a regional level, changes in regional figures derived from the survey can be volatile from one year to the next meaning it is difficult to interpret trends."

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Media captionDavid Davies said the overall trend in crime figures across England and Wales is down

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