News story

Crime statistics to become independent

Government announces that crime statistics will be published by the Office for National Statistics

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

The government has laid a written ministerial statement in Parliament to respond to the national statistician’s review of crime statistics that was published in June

The Home Secretary commissioned an independent review of crime statistics in January and asked the national statistician ‘to decide which independent body should have future responsibility for the publication of crime statistics’ and to look at how crime statistics are measured, collated and published.


The review recommended that:

  • the Office for National Statistics (ONS) should assume responsibility for the independent reporting and publication of crime statistics
  • the presentation of crime statistics needs further improvement to provide clarity about the coverage of the two sources of crime statistics – the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime
  • there should be transparent decision-making on changes that affect the published crime statistics.

The national statistician also recommended that a new independent advisory committee should be set up to take the work forward.

Government response

The government has now accepted all the recommendations of the national statistician, Ms Jil Matheson.

Commenting on the announcement Home Office Minister for Crime and Security James Brokenshire said: ‘Our existing measures of crime are confusing and offer the public only a partial picture of the true level of offending. 
‘It is in the public interest that we have measures of crime that are clear, meaningful and in which the public can have confidence.
‘Today we are accepting all of the recommendations of the National Statistician, including the transfer of the publication of crime statistics to the independent Office for National Statistics. This is an important step towards building public trust.
‘The National Statistician’s independent Advisory Committee will now consider what further changes are necessary to improve the collection and presentation of the key data that is published nationally about crime.’

Published 18 July 2011