In the statement made by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), it was stated that although overall crime levels decreased during the coronavirus restrictions in the UK, there was an 8 percent increase in sexual harassment crimes.
According to figures released by the ONS, the number of sexual harassment incidents in England and Wales reached an all-time high in 2021.
Noting that 61,158 cases were recorded until last June, ONS reported that this was the highest annual figure for sexual harassment crimes in the UK.
The ONS noted that 17,300 harassment offenses were recorded between last April and June, while an average of 12,000 to 15,000 harassment incidents took place every 3 months in the UK.
Domestic violence crime increased by 6%
Furthermore, the ONS stated that 37% of all sexual crimes recorded by police were sexual harassment crimes.
According to the ONS report on crimes, there was a 6% increase in the number of crimes related to domestic abuse in 2021, with 850 thousand domestic abuse crimes committed.
ONS Head of Crime Statistics Nick Stripe said in a statement that the increase in sexual crimes could be due to the increase in victim reporting with the easing of quarantines.
Stripe noted that victims tend to report harassment more at a time when campaigns against sexual abuse are on the agenda in the country, such as the murder of Sarah Everard.