Press release

Crime statistics review launched

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The National Statistician, Jil Matheson, will lead an independent review into the collection and publication of crime statistics, Home Secretary Theresa May announced today.

Setting a clear commitment to improve public confidence in statistics Theresa May also announced that the responsibility for their publication would move from the Home Office to an independent body.

To give the public a clearer picture of crime levels the review will look for cost effective ways to improve the coverage and coherence of crime statistics (police recorded crime and the British Crime Survey) including:

  • ensuring definitions of crimes and anti-social behaviour are aligned with the priorities and concerns of local communities
  • improving transparency and trust in the crime data which is collated and published
  • recommending how gaps in the statistics could be addressed
  • advising which independent body should publish crime statistics in future

Home Secretary statement

Theresa May said: ‘Any reductions in crime are welcome, however levels are still too high and we know these statistics only offer a partial picture about the level of crime.

‘More needs to be done to bring crime down and we need to take bold action to restore public trust in crime statistics.

‘That is why I have asked the National Statistician to lead a review and why we are moving the publication of crime statistics out of the Home Office to an independent body.

‘Improving public trust and confidence in crime statistics is crucial if we are to improve transparency and empower local communities to hold authorities to account.’

Jil Matheson will work with key partners on the review including the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Opposition. The review will report back by the end of April 2011 with any changes implemented from April 2012.

Notes to editors

  1. The following two sets of crime statistics were published at 9.30am on Thursday the 20 January:

Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly Update to September 2010

Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2009/10. Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10). These are available on the Research and Development Statistics website.

  1. For more details contact the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.