Annex 2: Data Sources
Since 2013-14, the National Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland have been produced using data extracted from a single Police Scotland IT system called the Scottish Operational and Management Information System (ScOMIS). This data is then provided to the Scottish Government for the production of the National Statistics.
In 2019, Police Scotland developed a new data repository called the Source for Evidence Based Policing (SEBP). The intention is that this will, in due course, become the official source of information for the recorded crime National Statistics, replacing ScOMIS.
A preliminary review, looking at how changing from ScOMIS to SEBP impacts on the production of the Recorded Crime National Statistics, suggested that there is good alignment between both of these administrative systems.
Before the Scottish Crime Recording Board (SCRB) approved this transition, a final confirmatory check of the full 2019-20 reporting year was carried out. This involved a comparison of trends in recorded crimes, offences and clear up rates for all local authorities and Scotland as a whole between 2018-19 and 2019-20. A final technical review of the impact that the switch in sources had on the 2020-21 crime data was carried out with a summary of the results published in Annex 3 of the Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2020-21 bulletin.
In order to produce the new monthly Official Statistics included in this bulletin in the necessary shorter time frames, the information supplied by Police Scotland has been extracted from SEBP on a monthly basis. While the figures provided in this publication use the same source as the most recent National Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland, they are not directly comparable as the data was extracted at different times.
In addition, amendments to crime and offence records will always arise after data has been submitted by Police Scotland to the Scottish Government. Some crime or offence records may, on further investigation by the police, be redesignated to not constitute a crime or offence (a process known as 'no-criming'). In other cases the original crime or offence may be re-classified, which could shift the record between different crime or offence groups (for example if a common assault was found on further investigation to be a serious assault it would switch from Group 6 Miscellaneous Offences to Group 1 Non-sexual Crimes of Violence).
The December 2021 data for this bulletin was extracted in January 2022. In order to compare on a like-for-like basis, data used for comparison was taken from the December 2020 bulletin published last year, which was extracted in January 2021. Since there was a relatively short time frame for amendments to have been made to the information for both bulletins, this information is likely to be subject to change as time passes. In contrast, information for December 2019 was extracted in January 2021. As more than a year had passed since the crimes were originally recorded and the vast majority of amendments were likely to have taken place, this data is unlikely to change. Some caution should therefore be taken in interpreting the changes between years, as outlined in these monthly bulletins, which should be seen as providing a broad indication of changes over the period in volumes and types of specific crimes and offences.
The annual National Statistics for 2019-20 and 2020-21 provide the most robust source of information on crimes recorded by the police, and how these have changed over time.
For further background information (e.g. classification of Crimes and Offences and comparisons with England & Wales and Northern Ireland) please see the Recorded Crime in Scotland User Guide.
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