UK & World News

  • 30 December 2013, 5:42

Crime Statistics Revamped To Boost Transparency

Police in England and Wales are to change the way crime statistics are recorded to show the public the reasons why many are not solved.

Policing minister Damian Green said the new system, to be phased in from the start of the new year, should bring greater transparency to the way crimes are dealt with.

However Labour expressed concern that the Government was simply trying to disguise the impact of its policing cuts on the crime figures.

Currently around 70% of crimes are recorded as "undetected", with no indication as to why they did not lead to criminal charges.

But under the new framework, there will be a series of category headings indicating why no action was taken.

They will include "prosecution prevented" on the grounds that a suspect has been identified but is below the age of criminality or is too ill to stand trial.

Other headings will include "evidential difficulties", such as a key witness is unable or unwilling to give evidence, and "prosecution not in the public interest".

Mr Green said: "Recording offences as 'undetected' leaves victims feeling neglected and police investigations misunderstood - it does not properly reflect police work and that is why we are scrapping it.

"By introducing new categories, the police will be able to demonstrate the hard work they do and increase public transparency in policing."

For Labour, shadow crime and security minister Diana Johnson said that while greater transparency in the crime statistics was welcome, it could not disguise the fact that fewer cases were being solved under the current Government.

"No amount of changing the statistics can get away from the fact that fewer prosecutions are taking place for domestic violence, child sex abuse and rape on this Government's watch despite more crime being recorded for these most serious crimes," she said.

The new framework will come into force in Humberside on January 1 and will be rolled out across the rest of England and Wales from April.

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