Scottish Crime Recording Standard: Crime Recording and Counting Rules

Crime recording and counting rules for the Scottish Crime Recording Standard (SCRS). These are overseen, approved, maintained and developed by the Scottish Crime Recording Board (SCRB).

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Section E - ‘No Crime’, Recorded in Error and Duplicates

A crime, once recorded, should be classified as a ‘No Crime’ if one of the following criteria is satisfied:

  • Where following the report of an incident, a crime is recorded, and additional credible information is available which determines that no crime has been committed.
  • The crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of Police Scotland and the respective Force has accepted the transfer of the crime.
  • A procedural error has been made for a non-victim based crime/offence, e.g. error on completing an ASBFPN or COFPN.

The term ‘No Crime’ relate to crimes already recorded, and are therefore distinct from incident reports which do not result in a crime being recorded.

It should be noted that ‘No Crime’ is a final disposal and should not be applied as an interim measure to any recorded crime.

The ‘No Crime’ rule can be applied to crimes recorded at any time during the financial year and may include offences recorded in previous financial years.

The Crime Registrar is the final arbiter for all ‘No Crime’ decisions.

The reason for the ‘No Crime’ decision must be explained in detail in the crime/incident report along with the details of the requesting and authorising officer. A victim of crime making "no complaint" is insufficient justification to reclassify a recorded crime to ‘No Crime’.

Where relevant, when a decision to ‘No Crime’ has been made complainers must be kept updated on the status of the investigation and the ‘No Crime’ conclusion, not just that enquiries have been concluded. This must be documented on the crime report.

Examples of crime which should be updated to ‘No Crime’

Example 1 ‘A’ reports that they were robbed. The crime is recorded and investigated but the complaint is shown to be false. ‘A’ is then charged with wasting police time.

- ‘No Crime’ the Robbery and record 1 x Wasting Police Time

Example 2

A report of a sneak in theft of a handbag is reported by ‘A’ and recorded. ‘A’ later contacts the police to advise that their partner ‘B’ had placed the handbag within a cupboard without ‘A’s’ knowledge and no theft had taken place.

- Update the Theft to ‘No Crime‘

Examples of crime which should remain recorded

Example 1

A rape is reported to and recorded by the police. Following investigation there is no evidence to disprove a crime occurred.

- The Rape remains recorded.

Example 2

A complaint of assault is made and recorded by the police. The next day the complainer contacts the police stating they wish no further action to be taken although they confirm an assault had taken place.

- The Assault remains recorded although an uncooperative tag should be appended (no complaint does not necessarily mean no crime).

Example 3

'A' reports their vehicle windscreen is smashed by someone throwing a brick and a Vandalism is recorded. Enquiry identifies and provides sufficient evidence that a child aged 7 was responsible and there is nothing to suggest this was an accidental act.

- The Vandalism remains recorded (whilst a child of non-age was identified as being responsible this should remain recorded. Where there is sufficient evidence to confirm the child was responsible and there is nothing to indicate this was accidental, then the crime can be updated to 'detected').

Example 4

'A' is detained by security staff for stealing a small value of confectionary from a shop. Officers request ‘No Crime’ on the basis of low value involved and the person has been verbally warned.

- Theft by Shoplifting remains recorded.

Medical Updates/No Crime

Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, 2009, Section 1 provides that “penetration to any extent” amounts to Rape and any subsequent medical update which is inconclusive as to whether penetration occurred is insufficient rationale to reclassify any recorded crime to ‘No Crime’.

Recorded in Error/Duplicates

Where a duplicate crime report has been raised the crime number in respect of the ‘live’ crime report should be cross-referred on any duplicate crime report to provide an auditable trail. Care should be taken to ensure that the two records relate to the same circumstances involving the same complainer on the same date.

If the reported incident was recorded as a crime in error or found to have been over-recorded the “Recorded in Error” National Crime disposal should be used.

Note – Where an incident is initially recorded as a crime and later discovered not to be a crime the ‘No Crime’ option will be used.



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