HC Deb 20 July 1988 vol 137 c631W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what have been the levels of crime and the clear-up rates on Merseyside over the last four years;

(2) if he will make a statement on the way which crime statistics are collected on Merseyside.

Mr. John Patten

Figures on notifiable offences recorded by the police in Merseyside are published annually in chapter 2 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales"—in table 2.4 of the issue for 1986, Cm. 233, which is the most recent. The figure for 1987 was published in "Home Office Statistical Bulletin 6/88" and will be included in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1987" later this year: copies of these publications are available in the Library. The clear-up rate for Merseyside was 41 per cent. in 1984, 35 per cent. in 1985, 37 per cent. in 1986 and 43 per cent. in 1987. The clear-up rate for 1986 was also published in Cm. 233 and for later years will be published in subseequent issues.

All police forces in England and Wales provide the Home Office with statistics on notifiable offences recorded by the police according to a common set of reporting and counting rules. Offences may be cleared up in several ways, for example by charge/summons, by caution, being taken into consideration by the court and other methods including visits to convicted prisoners. Figures for each category vary between forces according to local circumstances and practices.