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Police recorded crime

Latest crime data and releases produced by the Office for National Statistics.

Police recorded crime data is supplied to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by the Home Office, who are responsible for the collection and collation of recorded crime data supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police.

What is included in police recorded crime?

Recorded crime figures are an important indicator of police workload. They can be used for local crime pattern analysis and provide a good measure of well-reported crimes (for example, homicide, which is not covered by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW)).

The Home Office receives 2 sources of information on homicide from the police forces of England and Wales. These are:

  • the monthly aggregated recorded crime return

  • a more detailed statistical return for each recorded homicide containing additional information, including victim and suspect details and the circumstances of the offence; this is used to populate a Home Office database called the Homicide Index

The Home Office collects additional data from the police on offences involving the use of firearms and knives or sharp instruments. These additional collections reflect the serious nature of these offences.

There are also some categories of crime (such as drug possession offences) where the volume of offences recorded are heavily influenced by police activities and priorities; in such cases recorded crime figures may not provide an accurate picture of the true extent of criminality.

How does police recorded crime differ from the Crime Survey for England and Wales?

Unlike the CSEW, recorded crime figures do not include crimes that have not been reported to the police or incidents that the police decide not to record.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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