Crime statistics in England Wales by qfa60885

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									Crime statistics in England & Wales
Dr Penny Babb
Head, Recorded Crime Statistics




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Outline


 – Sources of crime statistics in England and Wales

 – Outline the British Crime Survey

 – Police recorded crime and the National Crime
   Recording Standard

 – Presentation of crime statistics

 – New developments


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What do we want from crime statistics?


 – Measures that can be readily used to inform
   practitioners, policymakers and the public to both
   assess performance and address crime problems

 – Consistency over time and between forces and
   local areas, with figures reflecting victims’ real
   experience of crime




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Two main sources of crime statistics:

– From 1857 – police recorded crime statistics
   – Victorian performance management
   – Constant criticism over the years

– From 1981 – British Crime Survey
   – Initially a research tool
   – Upgraded in 2001




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The British Crime Survey



 The British Crime Survey (BCS) measures the
 experience and circumstances of victimisation and
 attitudes to crime and the criminal justice system among
 adults aged 16 and over living in private households in
 England and Wales




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Why do we need the BCS?


 Administrative records give an incomplete picture of
 crime:
    – not all crime is reported to police
    – not all reported crime is recorded
    – recorded crime can be affected by changes in
      recording practice or operational policy




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BCS strengths

   Better reflection of true extent of crime
   – for property crime
   – crime against the person


   Better indication of trends in crime:
   – methodology remained same since 1981
   – not affected by changes in levels of reporting to
     police or police practice




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BCS limitations

 Does not cover:
    – commercial crime
    – crime against children
    – “victimless” crimes
    – crimes against victims not part of private household
      population
 A sample survey and not 100% count:
    – estimates subject to a margin of error
    – limited use for sub-national analysis


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Police recorded crime is…

  – the only source of local level crime information

  – covers the full range of victims not just households

  – covers crime against all ages

  – is the only source of information on homicides and
    provides figures for rarer crimes

  – can be a good indicator of police workload



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Recorded crime is affected by changes in:

 – offending behaviour


 – legislation and the rules for recording crimes


 – local policing priorities


 – public reporting/police recording




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On the Record

 Report in 2000 by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary

 – Varying interpretation of the Home Office Counting
   Rules

 – Offences wrongly classified

 – The inappropriate ‘no criming’ of a record subsequent
   to it being recorded

 – An error rate of between 15% and 65% of the crime
   records examined

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National Crime Recording Standard

 2000
 – Simmons review provided a foundation for a new
   National Crime Recording Standard

 2002
 – The standard was formally introduced in April 2002.
   Police were then required to record unless there was
   “credible evidence to the contrary”

 Over the following few years the standard bedded in


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Steps taken to improve data quality


– Three years of data auditing by the Audit Commission

– Each police force now has a Force Crime Registrar
  outside the operational line of command

– The National Crime Registrar provides detailed
  guidance

– Audit Commission now report that police produce
  “better quality crime data than ever before”



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Response to the Crime Statistics reviews

– Local police forces to publish monthly neighbourhood
  crime data
– Set up new national system based on individual crime
  data
– Increase BCS coverage and run other surveys
– Publish annual crime report with more readily understood
  crime categories
– Look into how an index of serious crime could provide a
  better headline measure



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Indexed trends in crime since 1981

1981= 1.0

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                                                                                                                     Crimes in the 'basket' of
2                                                                                                                    serious offences
                                                                                                                     All police recorded crime

1                                                                                                                    British Crime Survey
                                                                                                                     crimes


0
    1981

           1983

                  1985

                         1987

                                1989

                                       1991

                                              1993

                                                     1995

                                                            1997

                                                                   1998/99

                                                                             2000/01

                                                                                       2002/03

                                                                                                 2004/05

                                                                                                           2006/07




    Note: Serious offences = homicide, attempted homicide,
    GBH with intent, robbery, burglary and thefts of vehicles
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    Local authority recorded crime data

–

    Domestic burglary in England &
    Wales 2006/07

    Rates per household at local
    authority level




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Small area data on the Neighbourhood
Statistics website




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Home Office Data Hub

During 2008 the new Data Hub will be rolled out.
This is a system that will:

– Collect individual crime data from police instead of
  summaries

– Reduce the bureaucratic burden on police forces

– Provide much richer data source to interpret crime trends




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Pilot data collections

 The Home Office data hub is being used to pilots
 collection of information on:

 –   Crime where Domestic Violence is an aggravating
     factor
 –   Commercial burglary
 –   Violent crime & disorder in the Night Time
     Economy
 –   Hate crime: including racial, religious and
     homophobic



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