Caught red-handed: why we can't count on Police Recorded Crime statistics thirteenth report of session 2013-14 report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

House of Commons papers 760 2013-14

Corporate Author:
Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee
Bernard Jenkin (chairman)
TSO (The Stationery Office)

Measurement of crime is based on two main statistical sources: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and Police Recorded Crime (PRC) data. However, there is an accumulation of substantial and credible evidence indicating that the PRC data do not represent a full and accurate account of crime in England and Wales. The evidence that the police under records crime may exaggerate the rate of decrease in crime. This is particularly so with sexual crimes such as rape. As a result of PASC's inquiry, the UK Statistics Authority has already stripped Police Recorded Crime data of the quality kite mark, "National Statistics". Numerical targets have driven perverse incentives to mis-record crime with associated attitudes and behaviour becoming ingrained. This presents officers with "a conflict between achievement of targets and core policing values." The Committee recommends that the Home Office should do more to discourage use of targets and must take responsibility and accept accountability for the quality of Police Recorded Crime Statistics. Senior police leaders must emphasise data integrity and accuracy, not targets. The Home Office should also "clarify the route open to police whistleblowers" and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of the Constabulary (HMIC) should investigate the treatment of key PASC witness police whistleblower PC James Patrick. PASC also recommends that "the Committee on Standards in Public Life conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the police's compliance with the new Code of Ethics; in particular the role of leadership in promoting and sustaining these values".

Extent [2], 55p. ISBN 9780215070807
Size N/A Price £12.00
Format Paperback Published 09 Apr 2014
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