The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) has announced that the National Statistics designation is to be removed from police recorded crime data.
In a detailed assessment report UKSA notes that 'there is accumulating evidence that suggests the underlying data on crimes recorded by the police may not be reliable'.
The National Statistics designation has been removed until the Office of National Statistics, working with the Home Office, the Inspectorate of Constabulary and others:
'is able to demonstrate that the quality of the underlying data, and the robustness of the ongoing audit and quality assurance procedures, are sufficient to support its production of statistics based on recorded crime data to a level of quality that meets users' needs'.
According to The Daily Mail, ministers have been keen to point out the ten per cent drop in crime since the coalition came to power. However the Office for National Statistics warned that police records 'overstate the true rate at which crime has been falling'.
Leading an inquiry into crime statistics, Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector for Constabulary for England and Wales said he expects to find 'some fiddling'.
The separately compiled Crime in England and Wales survey is unaffected by the UKSA decision.
'Almost certain' police fiddle crime figures, MPs told (18 December, 2013)
Shooting the messenger (22 November, 2013)
Response to the review of crime statistics (12 April, 2011)