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In 2006, reports were published following independent reviews of crime statistics by the Statistics Commission (Crime Statistics: User Perspectives, September 2006) and Professor Adrian Smith (Crime Statistics: An independent review, November 2006). The reviews recommended changes in the production and release of crime statistics aimed at restoring public trust. Both reviews included recommendations for changes to the presentation of the recorded crime figures, including re-defining major crime categories. The reviews also recommended exploring the feasibility of extending the scope of the British Crime Survey to include groups not currently covered e.g. children aged under 16, those living in group residences and businesses.
The Home Office support the broad thrust of the recommendations and published an Action
Plan in July 2007 responding to the two independent reviews. We have been working with our delivery partners to take forward work in relation to recommendations from the Reviews. For example, the annual crime statistics volume published in July 2007 included suggestions for enhancing the future presentation of crime statistics such as using a “basket of serious crime” as a key measure of crime trends and discussion of options that might be used for constructing a weighted crime index.
We requested feedback from readers at the time of publication and also from key stakeholders. Responses were passed to the Flanagan Review Team to inform the recent review of policing by Sir Ronnie Flanagan (Final Report: The Review of Policing, February 2008).
In addition, we commissioned independent expert advice on the feasibility of extending the scope of the BCS to under 16s and those living in group residences. A copy of the full report is available: Home
Office Research Report 06. One of the conclusions of this work was that the BCS could be extended to cover under 16s, and that this should be done by interviewing children aged 10 to 15 in households selected to take part in the main survey.
Based on this advice, the Home Office is extending the survey to cover children aged 10 to 15 from January 2009. A consultation was carried out in 2008 to invite users’ views on the proposals, the consultation and response document are available: