When the Home Secretary commissioned the National Statistician to undertake an independent review of crime statistics for England and Wales in December 2010, the terms of reference asked her to consider “whether or not the categories of notifiable offences for police recorded crime reported in the national statistics can be sensibly rationalised without reducing public trust or damaging transparency”.
The National Statistician found that there may be some scope to reduce the number of crime categories used for the reporting and collection of police recorded crime, and to consider how some offences currently excluded from notifiable crime might be reflected in published crime statistics. The National Statistician also stated that any change must be managed and introduced in a controlled and transparent way. She recommended that the issue should be considered by the new independent Advisory Committee on crime statistics that her report also recommended be established.
To inform the Committee’s consideration of these proposals, the Home Office issued a National Statistics consultation on 20 October 2011 on proposed changes to the collection.
Below is the Home Office response to the above consultation which summarises the response from users to the consultation and the subsequent advice the Crime Statistics Advisory Committee gave to the Home Secretary on the issue. The Committee’s advice to the Home Secretary and her response are available at the web page of the Crime Statistics Advisory Committee.
The outlined changes to the classifications used for the collection of police recorded crime will come into effect on 1 April 2012.
The changes to the collection outlined above will have no effect on the total number of recorded crimes but will have some limited impact on sub-categories due the aggregation of some existing categories. The changes will not feed through into the published statistics until the release related to the period ending June 2012, due for release in October 2012. A methodological note explaining the changes being made, the reasons for the change and an assessment of the likely impact will be published on 19 April along with the next quarterly release of crime statistics.
Responsibility for the compilation and publication of crime statistics for England and Wales will transfer to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 1 April 2012. The ONS will be considering improvements to the presentation of published statistics in line with the recommendations made in the National Statistician’s review. This will include the presentation of the recorded crime classifications in National Statistics outputs which will be affected by changes to collection outlined above.
Date: Thu Mar 29 09:30:00 BST 2012