The pyramids of crime


The Cambridgeshire research group have created these population pyramids so that locally you can see the profiles by district of victimisation and offending. This is to help local service delivery and ensure best practice in evidence led policy.

“The likelihood of becoming a victim varies depending on personal circumstances and lifestyle. For example the risk of being a victim of crime is highest amongst single, 16-24 years old who live in relatively deprived areas. The lowest risk lies with someone in an older age range living in an affluent rural area. It’s important to remember that the impact of becoming a victim of crime varies from person to person. A relatively minor offence can have a serious outcome for a vulnerable victim”.[1]

This Cambridgeshire atlas shows two factors that might affect the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime or an offender of crime, gender and age. The atlas does this by showing the rate per 1,000 people of offending and victimisation by gender and by age groups in a pyramid at district level. Currently it does not break it down by crime type.

The data comes from police recorded crime in Cambridgeshire and covers the year 2012.The data was also used in the Victim and offender needs assessment 2013 (VONA), which provides the detail behind the pyramid. Key findings include;

  • 31,503 victims of crime (excluding businesses) during 2012 as identified by Cambridgeshire Constabulary
  • 80% of offenders identified by Cambridgeshire Constabulary were male

How it works

This atlas complements the VONA by showing the rate of victimisation and offending at district level. The atlas allows you to view 10 different population pyramids, two for each district (one for offenders and one for victims). You can compare different age groups between districts and with the County by adding comparator lines to the pyramid.


Once you pick one or two comparator lines you can see the difference in offending between males in Cambridge City compared to Fenland.

Rate of offending in Cambridge City compared to Fenland

Rate of offending in Cambridge City compared to Fenland

Cambridge City rates of offending are shown in the pyramid whilst Fenland’s rates are shown in the pink outline on top of Cambridge City’s pyramid. As you can see, Cambridge City has a particularly high rate of offenders who are male and aged 15-19 whilst Fenland has a bulk of its offenders who are male but aged 20 to 24.


We can compare multiple areas, so if we looked at the rate of victimisation (we change the data using the navy blue button (Victims 2012 rate) above the pyramid) and add the comparator line for Cambridgeshire and Fenland. We see this.

Rate of victimisation for Cambridge City compared to Fenland and Cambridgeshire

Rate of victimisation for Cambridge City compared to Fenland and Cambridgeshire

Cambridge City data is shown in the pyramid, Cambridgeshire is shown in the black outline and Fenland is shown in the pink outline. The rate of victimisation in Cambridge City is higher for females aged between 15 to 19 years old than it is in Cambridgeshire and Fenland.

Your turn

Look for yourself and use the pyramid to compare rates of victims and offenders in different districts or to see the difference between males and females, and perhaps you could try and see which age group has the highest rate of victims in your area.

The Cambridgeshire Atlas | Victim and offender gender and age pyramid (2012) is available at


[1]Victim and Offender Needs Assessment – Executive Summary (2013)