Presenting official statistics on recorded crime and related topics: consultation

The Scottish Crime Recording Board are asking how the official statistics on recorded crime and related topics should be presented.

Part One

Purpose and supporting principles

19. In preparing this consultation the Crime Board has developed the following purpose statement for the production of recorded crime statistics. The aim of this is to more formally set out an overarching purpose for the framework used to group and present statistics on police recorded crimes and offences.

Purpose of Framework

To produce National Statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police in any given year, which (i) informs users, stakeholders and the public in general and (ii) enables a robust and meaningful picture of how crime changes over time to be produced.

20. In addition to this purpose statement, the Crime Board has also developed the four supporting principles shown below. These were used by the Board to inform the proposed refresh of crime groups outlined in Part two of this consultation. The Board also intends to continue using this framework to judge any future proposals that may change the presentation of police recorded crime statistics.

Supporting principles:

  • To seek consistency across the framework, both between crime and offence groups and over time - with the assumption that more serious criminal behaviour should generally be defined as a crime, and less serious as an offence (based on the typical sentence a perpetrator can expect, see Annex E).
  • To generally place activity more susceptible to operational decisions by the Police, Crown etc. within the offences total, and activity that is more victim-reported and less operationally affected within the crimes total - ensuring as valid a trend as possible in crimes brought to the police's attention can be produced.
  • In reflecting on the first two principles, to preserve or where possible enhance the user's ability to both produce meaningful time series analysis on police recorded crime and their ability to compare these statistics with other sources of information.
  • To consider the views of those who use crime statistics on how best to present data for the crime and offence groups and how this can best promote their understanding of criminal behaviour.

21. These four principles collectively emphasise the importance of continuing to produce a consistent Framework for the categorisation of crimes and offences - which provides users with a fair reflection of how crimes faced by the police evolve over time and is informed by the views of those users. All these requirements are in line with the recommended approach for producing these statistics under the Code of Practice for Official Statistics[17].

22. In proposing these supporting principles, the Crime Board recognises that they are not absolutes and that decisions on how to present statistics on recorded crime will be based on finding the best balance between them. There are likely to be times where the Board will require further information on the nature of certain types of criminality or the views of users, to help it reach a decision.

Questions to consider

Question One

Do you have any views or feedback on the purpose statement and supporting principles developed by the Crime Board for the production of recorded crime statistics? Should any changes be made to these?



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