More on crime statistics

An image that is worth…

This is the ratio between the crime data as recorded by the police and the Crime Survey of England and Wales (formerly known as the BCS):

crime stats.bmp

It is clear what happened after the National Crime Recording Standards were introduced. There was a much better match. It is also clear what happened after 2007, when the annual audits to monitor standards stopped: back to business as normal.

The ONS published a report on this back in January, even if it wasn’t really picked up by the media in the way that it deserved. As John Flatley highlights: “The data can’t tell us why the police appear to be recording a lower proportion of crime reported to them than in previous years. Although, one suggestion is that there has been gradual erosion of compliance by the police with the NCRS and ONS outlines some possible drivers, including possible perverse incentives associated with performance targets”. Unfortunately the report did not assess regional variations.

It will be really interesting to see what comes out of the Public Administration Select Committee current inquiry. The various pieces of oral and written evidence make for some fascinating reading. I thought Professor Alan Brimicombe had some interesting points to make about domestic violence, the quality of geocoding and the police uk website, and repeat victimisation. And the shameful response provided by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners represents further evidence (complacent and out of their depth) as to why, as the Independent Police Commission has suggested, we would not miss them much if they go.


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