Annex 3: Auditing of Data by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS)
HMICS Crime Audit 2014
6.36. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland have conducted and, in November 2014, published, a thorough audit of police recorded crime data. They tested the accuracy of crime recording through an audit of records recorded between 1 April 2014 and 30 June 2014. In deciding which records to audit, HMICS took several factors into account including areas identified as weak in previous audits, areas of high risk or emerging concern, and national and local policing priorities. HMICS audited records in six categories, one of which was Hate Crime.
6.37. The Crime Audit 2014 was the largest audit into crime recording undertaken by HMICS to date, and shows that the reform of Scottish policing has provided new opportunities for greater consistency.
6.38. It should be made clear that the audit was carried out on a range of different Hate Crimes and as such, only provides an indication of the quality of recording of racist incidents by the police. It also provides no assurances that racist incidents, once recorded by the police, are successfully captured by the racist incidents data collection that provides the data for this publication.
6.39. In this detailed audit, HMICS confirmed that:
"The recording of hate crime was excellent and achieved the highest compliance rate of 97% in our audit. However, a recurring issue with regards to the classification of some hate crime should be addressed."
"This may reflect the fact that Police Scotland has set hate crime as one of its high priorities and has designated confidence in reporting hate crime as one of its equality and diversity outcomes."
6.40. The audit showed that out of 688 hate crime incidents, 405 resulted in a crime report (with 504 crimes recorded). Of the 688 incidents, 97% of them were closed correctly as either being a crime, or were non-crime related. Of the 504 crimes, 94% of them were counted and classified correctly. The report also noted that the corresponding crime reports of 'some' incidents, despite being correctly marked as a hate crime incident, did not contain a hate crime marker.
6.41. Where crimes were classified incorrectly, the report states that a common issue involving racial abuse was found. The two crime codes of 'Racially Aggregated Conduct' and 'Threatening or Abusive Behaviour' were not getting used correctly in all incidents due to interpretations of the rules connecting corroboration and racial abuse. The HMICS report includes an improvement action for Police Scotland in order to address this going forward.
6.42. The full report, including key findings, recommendations and improvement actions, can be accessed from the HMICS website:
Email: Alan Sloan