Recorded crime and police activity statistics consultation: summary of responses

Summarises the responses to the consultation on the future of recorded crime and police activity statistics. It also outlines a package of changes to the production of Scotland’s recorded crime statistics.

Overview of responses

Alongside the feedback collated from the events hosted during the consultation

period, we received a total of 17 written responses to the consultation. These included responses from 14 organisations and three individuals. A list of organisations which responded to the consultation can be found in Annex A and a copy of the responses received, for those who gave their permission to publish them, are available on the consultation webpage.

The following findings reflect the feedback received from both the consultation events and the written responses. In general, the opinions expressed by those taking part were broadly similar across those two areas.

Respondents were broadly supportive of many of the proposals presented in this consultation. Whilst for some questions there was clear majority agreement amongst respondents, in other areas opinions were more varied.

In terms of the way crimes and offences are grouped for police recorded crime statistics, users were keen to see a greater amount of disaggregation compared to the current approach. There was also a broad consensus that common assault should be re-classified as a crime, and split into with and without injury. In terms of dissemination, respondents generally supported reducing the frequency of the monthly recorded crime statistics publications, suggesting that quarterly releases would best suit their needs.

As found in the previous consultation on this topic,[1] mixed feedback remained on some of the definitions suggested for the grouping of crimes and offences. This included the proposal to split sexual crimes into with and without physical contact. Some users noted this may suggest the statistics are minimising the seriousness of what might be termed as 'non-contact' sexual offending. However, on the other hand, it was noted that a sexual crimes without physical contact group could give a good proxy for online sexual offending.

Similarly, there was some concern about the definition being proposed for splitting common assault into with and without injury. It was noted that it should be made clear that this is solely a presentational split to provide more detail for users, and is not intended to minimise the seriousness of the impact common assault, both with and without injury, has on victims.

Finally, almost all users who provided feedback on the possible development of new police activity statistics on non-criminal incidents, said that they would find these of value.

Summary of responses

Table 1 below includes a high level summary of all responses and feedback received as part of this consultation. Further detail on the responses to each section of the consultation is presented in the following chapters.

Table 1: Summary of responses

Topic / Where they offered a view, respondents were:

Proposal to introduce new crime grouping structure

  • Generally supportive of greater disaggregation compared to the current approach.

Proposal for splitting common assault into with injury and without injury

  • Continued support that common assault should be reclassified as a crime, and split into with and without injury. Broadly content with the proposed definition of Common Assault with and without injury, with a few minor amendments suggested.

Dissemination of Annual National Statistics on Recorded Crime

  • Supportive of having commentary to contextualise the findings and in favour of Excel format tables to present the data.
  • Supportive of comparisons being provided between findings from recorded crime and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, as well as information on cyber-crime.

Dissemination of Monthly Official Statistics on Recorded Crime

  • Supportive of reducing the frequency of the monthly statistics publications, suggesting quarterly releases would best suit their needs.

Recorded Crime Statistics User Guide

  • Supportive of the User Guide as a complementary document to the statistical bulletin.

Future developments for Recorded Crime Statistics

  • Generally supportive of the potential addition of demographic characteristics for those involved in crime.
  • Supportive of the level of geographical disaggregation currently offered.
  • Unclear if an interactive data exploring tool would be useful, those responding do not routinely use crime statistics data from
  • Generally not supportive of the potential development of a Crime Severity Score.[2]

Production of new Police Activity Statistics

  • Supportive of the potential production of new statistics on non-criminal incidents recorded by Police Scotland.

Use of Police Activity Statistics

  • Interested in various potential uses of these statistics to widen the understanding of police activity and inform policy and decision making.



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