Official Statistics

Ceasing data collection at Basic Command Unit (BCU) level: consultation

Ceasing data collection at Basic Command Unit (BCU) level

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Consultation

The Coalition Agreement proposed to cut police bureaucracy and as part of this there has been a review of requirements for police forces to submit data to the Home Office. This has already resulted in reductions to the coverage, detail and frequency of a number of data collections not affecting National Statistics outputs. It has also been proposed that from April 2012 police forces should no longer be required to submit monthly totals of recorded crimes and detections at Basic Command Unit (BCU) level.

In the past, BCU level recorded crime and detections figures have been released annually alongside the July crime statistics publication. Recorded crime data will continue to be published at Police Force and Community Safety Partnership (CSP) level on a quarterly basis, and detections data will continue to be published at Force level on an annual basis. BCUs reflect the organisational structure of a force, with each BCU covering a particular geographic area. As they reflect management structures, BCU boundaries can change frequently, which can reduce the statistical utility of data collected at this level. A number of smaller forces have discontinued the BCU model altogether, operating in effect as single BCU forces. CSPs provide a more stable basis for statistical analysis at a similar geographic granularity and also have the advantage of aligning to local authority boundaries for which other data sets are generally available.

Please send any comments on these proposals to crimestats@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk by 12 January 2012.

Response from Home Office Statistics

  1. Introduction

Home Office Statistics launched a 12 week consultation alongside the publication of the Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly Update to June 2011. The consultation period ended on 12 January 2012 and below is a response and an outline of actions and decisions taken, or to be taken.

  1. Background

The Coalition Agreement proposed to cut police bureaucracy and review requirements for police forces to submit data to the Home Office.  As part of this it was proposed that from April 2012 police forces should no longer be required to submit monthly totals of recorded crimes and detections at Basic Command Unit (BCU) level.

  1. Response to the consultation and the way forward

One response was received to the proposal to drop collection at BCU level which generally welcomed the change.

BCU boundaries can change frequently, which can reduce the statistical utility of data collected at this level.  Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) provide a more stable basis for statistical analysis at a similar geographic granularity and also have the advantage of aligning to local authority boundaries for which other data sets are generally available

From April 2012 The Home Office will not require police forces to return data of recorded crimes and detections at BCU level. Recorded crime data will continue to be published at Police Force and CSP level on a quarterly basis, and detections will continue to be published at Force level on an annual basis.

The Home Office would like to thank all those who responded and contributed to the consultation process.