Scottish Crime and Justice Survey

Statistics from SCJS are essential in providing a current view of the experience of victims of crime and confidence in the criminal justice system in Scotland. They estimate the trends in the main crime types, as well as providing important insight into the experience of highly sensitive crimes such as partner abuse and sexual offences.

This report concludes that the existing National Statistics status of the SCJS statistics may continue subject to Scottish Government demonstrating to us that it has enhanced the value, quality and trustworthiness of these statistics in the ways described in chapters one to three of this report.

We have asked Scottish Government to report on its actions by the end of October 2017.


Related links:

Confirmation as National Statistics: March 2018

Letter from Ed Humpherson to Roger Halliday

The value of crime and justice statistics

Crime and justice is changing and we think it is important that the statistics continue to reflect the real world; undoubtedly there are challenges to doing this. In our review of the Public value of crime and justice statistics in the UK we identified a need for statistics that join-up across the system, yet the separation of government and organisations, particularly in England and Wales, means that this is not always the case. And we think that more work could be done across the UK so that crime statistics achieve similar public value in all administrations.

We have started conversations between producer organisations to explore some of these issues through two roundtable discussions. The first was with producer organisations across the UK and looked at increasing value by sharing information. The second was with producer organisations covering England and Wales and looked at increasing value through sharing and linking data.

Our previous work

In our work on crime and justice statistics we have a strong record of publicly challenging the status quo in crime statistics, in the trust that the public can have in crime statistics and the quality of the underlying data. We broadened our view to consider the value that crime and justice statistics bring to public debate, starting with a crime and justice statistics seminar in London in 2015 to gather expert views on how crime and justice statistics might extend their value.

During 2016 we added to our knowledge through:

  • one-to-one conversations with academics and people who interpret crime and justice statistics for a wider audience
  • a commissioned international review of leading-edge developments in crime and justice statistics
  • mapping the existing landscape of crime and justice statistics across the UK
  • regular contact with producers, following public dialogue and reading academic and methodological papers to keep abreast of topical issues and understand areas of concern

Our view on the Public value of crime and justice statistics was formed out of this ongoing activity.

If you are interested in contributing to our work or would like to receive an alert as more information becomes available, please get in touch.

 

Contact for more information:

Pat MacLeod
pat.macleod@statistics.gov.uk
020 7592 8657

Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland (Scottish Government)

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 . The Act gives the Statistics Authority power to re-assess whether the Code of Practice for Official Statistics continues to be complied with in relation to official statistics already designated as National Statistics. The report covers the set of statistics reported in Recorded Crime in Scotland, produced by the Scottish Government.

The previous assessment of this set of statistics was reported in Assessment report 2 . The Authority has chosen to reassess these statistics partly due to the nature of concerns raised in our recent Assessment report 268 Statistics on Crime in England and Wales. As our assessment progressed, it became increasingly apparent that the creation of a single police force (the Police Service of Scotland (Police Scotland)) represented a significant change in the crime recording landscape and provided a further rationale for a reassessment.

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Assessment Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Head of Assessment.

Decision concerning designation as National Statistics

The Statistics Authority notes that the Scottish Government is responsible for the validation of police recorded crime data and the production and publication of police recorded crime statistics. Police Scotland is responsible for providing annual police recorded crime data to the Scottish Government and carries out internal audits of these data, which are reported internally and to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). In addition, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland’s (HMICS) independent reviews of Police Scotland can include inspections of police recorded crime data and the practices of recording them.

The Authority expects any producer of statistics to consider the limitations and risks of the underlying data, and to seek appropriate assurance that the data are of sufficient quality such that the statistics meet users’ needs. In the context of high profile statistics such as police recorded crime, the Authority has been clear that systematic published audit of the underlying data is essential to increase both the quality of, and public confidence in, these statistics. In line with this position, the Authority considers that police recorded crime data in Scotland are of high public interest, that these data should be the subject of independent scrutiny and that the Scottish Government should obtain and provide strong levels of assurance about their quality.

However, this report concludes that the Scottish Government lacks sufficient evidence to be able to provide such appropriate reassurance. The Authority considers that the Scottish Government has not created, and put into practice, a coherent framework for considering the quality of the underlying data, and does not have sufficient information about the quality of the police recorded crime data. It is therefore unable to make users fully aware of any potential limitations of the recorded crime statistics.

The Authority typically allows a three month period for producers to meet Requirements in Assessment reports. On that basis, and given the available evidence, the Authority considers that the Scottish Government will not be able to gather the information it needs to inform these considerations in that time.

These statistics were confirmed as National Statistics in a letter to the Scottish Government in March 2010 . It is a statutory requirement on the producer body to continue to ensure that it produces the set of statistics designated as National Statistics in compliance with the Code of Practice. The Authority considers that the Scottish Government has not provided sufficient evidence of ongoing compliance with the majority of the Principles of the Code of Practice for these National Statistics since the last Assessment. The Requirements for the Scottish Government contained in this report reflect the extent of noncompliance across the breadth of the Principles and Protocols in the Code of Practice.

The Requirements in this report (listed in section 1.5) cover a wide range of Principles and Practices of the Code of Practice. In many cases, these Requirements relate to elements of the Code that we find that most statistical producers comply with as a matter of course, such as publishing minutes of key meetings. The Requirements cover four main themes (some Requirements are applicable to more than one theme): • Failure to meet the required standards for user engagement and documenting the uses of the statistics (Requirements 1, 2, 3, 4 and 18) • Failure to meet the required standards for publishing sufficient information about the methods used to compile the statistics and about the quality of the statistics, and for keeping users informed about material changes, or other related work, that could impact on the statistics (Requirements 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 21) • Failure to meet the required standards for the presentation and publication of the statistics (Requirements 11, 14, 15, 17, 19 and 20) • Failure to meet the required standard for the planning and resourcing of statistical work and promoting transparency in this work (Requirements 3, 7, 8 and 16)

Without new evidence of a systematic independent published audit of the integrity of police recorded crime data, and the results of that audit suggesting that the data are produced in ways that are reliable and comparable, the Authority cannot, at present, confer the designation of Recorded Crime in Scotland as National Statistics.

The Scottish Government should: • working with HMICS or other appropriate bodies, combine existing and new work into a coherent framework of assurance. Most of this material exists, or will be available once HMICS publish their next report examining the integrity of crime recording in Scotland; but it has not been incorporated into a coherent framework • publish demonstrable evidence that the outputs from the forthcoming independent HMICS audit have been integrated into the processes and practices for the compilation, analysis and publication of these statistics and of the supporting documentation • implement all the Requirements covering the wide range of Principles of the Code of Practice listed in section 1.5

The Scottish Government informed the Authority on 15 July 2014 that it is investigating whether the HMICS audit can be conducted and published before October 2014. The Authority welcomes efforts by the Scottish Government to improve the trustworthiness and value of these statistics in the public interest. The Authority further anticipates that the Scottish Government will address the Requirements in this report swiftly and that the results of the forthcoming HMICS audit will be appropriately reflected in the Scottish Government’s consideration of the reliability of the police recorded crime data. The Authority will welcome the further submission of fuller evidence from the Scottish Government which demonstrates that it has addressed all the Requirements set out in this Assessment report, and remains receptive to consider this matter again with the Scottish Government when such evidence is presented.


Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics

Letter from Ed Humpherson to Leslie Evans regarding the assessment of statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland

Statistics on Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Act gives the Statistics Authority power to re-assess whether the Code of Practice for Official Statistics continues to be complied with in relation to official statistics already designated as National Statistics. The report covers the set of statistics reported in Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS), produced by the Scottish Government.

The previous assessment of this set of statistics was reported in Assessment report 98. Annex 4 presents the Requirements from the previous assessment. The Statistics Authority has chosen to re-assess GERS because the report presents key Scottish public finances statistics which have a high profile and play an important part in public debate.

Section 3 of this report adopts an ‘exception reporting’ approach – it includes text only to support the Requirements made to strengthen compliance with the Code and Suggestions made to improve confidence in the production, management and dissemination of these statistics. This abbreviated style of report reflects the Head of Assessment’s consideration of aspects of risk and materiality. The Assessment team nonetheless assessed compliance with all parts of the Code of Practice and has commented on all those in respect of which some remedial action is recommended.

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Assessment Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Head of Assessment.

Statistics on Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics

Quarterly National Accounts Scotland (Scottish Government)

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Act allows an appropriate authority3to request an assessment of official statistics against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics in order for them to gain National Statistics status. This report is in response to such a request. The report covers the set of statistics reported in Quarterly National Accounts Scotland (QNAS), produced by the Scottish Government.

Section 3 of this report adopts an ‘exception reporting’ approach – it includes text only to support the Requirements made to strengthen compliance with the Code and Suggestions made to improve confidence in the production, management and dissemination of these statistics. This abbreviated style of report reflects the Head of Assessment’s consideration of aspects of risk and materiality The Assessment team nonetheless assessed compliance with all parts of the Code of Practice and has commented on all those in respect of which some remedial action is recommended.

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Assessment Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Head of Assessment.

Quarterly National Accounts Scotland: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics

Statistics on Schools and Pupils in Scotland

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Act gives the Statistics Authority power to re-assess whether the Code of Practice for Official Statistics continues to be complied with in relation to official statistics already designated as National Statistics. The report covers the set of statistics reported in the following publications, produced by the Scottish Government:

• Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living (Attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living)

• Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland (Schools in Scotland)

1.1.2 The previous assessment of these sets of statistics was reported in Assessment report 50. The statistics are being re-assessed because the Scottish Government substantially changed the way that it presented the statistics covered in the previous Assessment report, partly as a response to the Requirements in the previous assessment. This is discussed further in paragraph 2.2 of this report. These changes were also examined in the Authority’s Statistical Expenditure Report (SER) on Scottish Schools Statistics.

1.1.3 The Act allows an appropriate authority to request an assessment of other official statistics in order for them to gain National Statistics status. In response to such a request, this report also covers the set of statistics reported in Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN).

1.1.4 Section 3 of this report adopts an ‘exception reporting’ approach – it includes text only to support the Requirements made to strengthen compliance with the Code and Suggestions made to improve confidence in the production, management and dissemination of these statistics. This abbreviated style of report reflects the Head of Assessment’s consideration of aspects of risk and materiality. The Assessment team nonetheless assessed compliance with all parts of the Code of Practice and has commented on all those in respect of which some remedial action is recommended.

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Assessment Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Head of Assessment.

Statistics on Schools and Pupils in Scotland: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics (1)

Statistics on Looked After Children

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Act gives the Statistics Authority power to re-assess whether the Code of Practice for Official Statistics continues to be complied with in relation to official statistics already designated as National Statistics. The report covers the sets of statistics produced by the Department for Education (DfE), the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government, and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland (DHSSPS) (collectively referred to as the producer bodies in this report) and reported in the following publications:

DfE:

• Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers)

• Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England

The Welsh Government:

• Adoptions, Outcomes and Placements for Children Looked After by Local Authorities, Wales

• Social Services Statistics Wales (parts relating to LAC)

• Referrals, Assessments and Social Services for Children, Wales (parts relating to health checks for LAC, and reviews carried out within statutory timetables)

The Scottish Government:

• Children’s Social Work Statistics Scotland (parts relating to LAC)

DHSSPS:

• Children in Care in Northern Ireland

• Children Adopted from Care in Northern Ireland

• Children’s Social Care Statistics for Northern Ireland (parts relating to looked after children (LAC))

• Northern Ireland Care Leavers Aged 16-18

• Northern Ireland Care Leavers Aged 19

The previous assessments of these sets of statistics were reported in Assessment reports 13, 14, 15, 16, 188, 219 and 223. In some cases the ways in which the statistics are now packaged for publication and the names of the individual products have changed.

This re-assessment is the first in what may become a series of topic-based assessments, each covering a variety of producer bodies. It has been designed to focus on issues that are inherent to this particular topic and which arose in the earlier assessments. It does not therefore cover every element in the Code. The issues are:

• the quality of the data used to compile the statistics

• the collection and use of child-level (as opposed to aggregate) information

• comparability across the UK

• coverage of the topic area and packaging into statistical products

The specific elements of the Code that are relevant to these issues are Principles 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 5.1, 5.4, 6.1, 7.5, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.6 and Protocol 3.3.

The following Official Statistics are included within this report in order to gain a better overview of the topic area. Because the assessment does not cover all of the practices within the Code, they are not being assessed here with a view to designation as National Statistics:

The Welsh Government:

• Wales Children in Need Census (parts relating to LAC) (Welsh Government)

• Fostering and Adoption Intermediary Services, Wales (the part relating to foster settings for LAC) (Welsh Government)

The Scottish Government:

• Education outcomes for Scotland’s looked after children

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Assessment Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Head of Assessment.

Statistics on Looked After Children: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics – DfE

Statistics on Looked After Children: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics – NISRA

Statistics on Looked After Children: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics – SG

Statistics on Looked After Children: Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics – WG