More than six million crimes were recorded in the year to March 2022 – 4% higher than the previous all-time high of 6.1 million in 2019/20, according to official statistics.
At 6.3m, it is also up 16% on 2020/21, when crime levels were affected by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The figures, which have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show knife crime, theft and domestic abuse all increased in the 12 months to March.
Police-recorded offences of fraud and computer misuse have risen 17%, from 828,364 in 2020/21 to 965,162 in 2021/22.
According to the ONS figures, knife crime rose by ten per cent to 49,027 offences in the year to March, compared with 44,642 in the previous 12 months – although this is below the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20, which saw 55,078 offences.
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Police-recorded crime are now at their highest level since current records began in 2002/03, including the number of rape offences (70,330 in 2021/22), all sexual offences (194,683), stalking and harassment offences (722,574), and all violence against the person offences (2.1 million).
There were 909,504 domestic abuse-related offences recorded in 2021/22, up eight per cent on 2020/21 and up 12 per cent on the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20.
However, some observers have tempered the headline news by linking the increases with the improvement in reporting procedures.
ONS spokesman Billy Gazard said: “Police-recorded crime shows some indications of violent offences returning to or exceeding levels seen before the pandemic. Sexual offences recorded by the police were at the highest level recorded within a 12-month period in the year ending March 2022, a 32% cent increase from the previous year.
“These changes may reflect a number of factors including the impact of high-profile cases and campaigns on victims’ willingness to report incidents.”