HC Deb 12 May 2003 vol 405 cc68-9W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05/03, Table 2, in relation to the offence categories for which no adjusted figure is available, whether(a) the unadjusted figure is used to contribute to the adjusted totals and (b) the categories in question are excluded from the adjusted totals. [109563]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

In Table 2 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05/03, recorded crime figures have been adjusted to take into account the impact of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), which was adopted across all forces from April 2002. The NCRS has been implemented to help police forces adopt a more consistent and victim-focused approach to recording crime.

It is important to note that the NCRS-adjusted figures for offence groups are estimates. These estimates have been calculated based on changes to the ratio of police recorded crimes and crime-related incidents brought to the attention of the police, before and after the introduction of the NCRS.

The adjusted total recorded crime figure, published in Table 2 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05/03, is a total for all recorded crime offences. (It therefore includes all the categories for which no adjusted figure is available, i.e. sexual offences, other thefts and handling, fraud and forgery, drug offences and other offences). NCRS adjustments made to the total recorded crime figure have been calculated using exactly the same methodology as the adjustments for the other offence groups in Table 2. The data used to calculate the adjusted total recorded crime figure are therefore not a sum of all the figures for the offence groups, it is a separate calculation. The adjustment for the total recorded crime figure is based on a return from forces asking separately (from the other offence categories), for total recorded crime and total crime-related incident data.

The impact of the NCRS varies considerably across crime types. Currently, it is not possible to adjust the national data for the impact of the NCRS for certain crime types where police forces are unable to differentiate incidents, where numbers are too small, or where the nature of incident recording means that this measure is particularly unreliable as an indicator of underlying trends. However, these constraints do not apply when considering recorded crime as a whole.