4. Future developments
4.1. Review of administrative data source
As described in Chapter 1, the iVPD has been used to produce the Domestic Abuse in Scotland Official Statistics since 2014-15. Police Scotland use the iVPD to record information about individuals who are, or are perceived to be, experiencing some form of adversity and/or situational vulnerability which may impact on their current or future wellbeing. Its primary function is to support the day-to-day operational procedures of Police Scotland.
We previously informed users of upcoming work to assess the suitability of Police Scotland's database STORM (System for Tasking and Operational Resource Management) as an alternative source for producing these Official Statistics on the number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police. However, due to COVID-19 this work was postponed. Through further discussion with Police Scotland, we have decided to continue using iVPD as the source of these statistics until a new national crime management system is introduced. This is seen as a potentially more valuable source of data on this topic, and is likely to hold similar information to the iVPD.
We will provide further updates on changes to the production process through the ScotStat network and in future bulletins.
4.2. Stakeholder consultations & users of these statistics
These statistics are used by a range of stakeholders within central government, the police and other public bodies for a variety of purposes.
Domestic abuse statistics are also used by a variety of external stakeholders, including victim support groups, national and local journalism, academics and students and school pupils writing dissertations and carrying out projects.
Official statistics are a tool used in decision making both inside and outside government, and for this tool to be effective it has to be designed to meet the needs of users. We always welcome feedback on the content and the uses made of our statistical bulletins and users are invited to submit their comments and any suggestions for improvement to: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot.
In 2019, the Scottish Crime Recording Board undertook a consultation on how the National Statistics on Recorded Crime are presented. This included inviting users' views on some potential changes in approach to the seven group structure currently used to present statistics on recorded crime (including Table 2 in this bulletin). The consultation closed on 30 November 2019.
This work was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant increase in demand for associated analysis (for example the recent introduction of new monthly official statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the police). However, it has since resumed and a Summary of responses and a discussion of next steps document was published in June 2021. Further information on this consultation can be found on the Scottish Government Consultation Hub website.
A new consultation was launched in October 2021, as a follow-up discussion on an alternative way to group and present statistics on recorded crime, which takes into consideration responses received as a result of the 2019 consultation. The Scottish Crime Recording Board is hence inviting final feedback on a proposed new set of Crime Groups, prior to any changes being implemented in 2022. Any new set of Crime Groups will have an impact on the way statistics on crimes and offences recorded as part of incidents of domestic abuse, are presented in this bulletin. The consultation paper and questionnaire are available via the Scottish Government website and on the Scottish Government Consultation Hub website.
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