Response to the review of crime statistics

Professor Tim Hope
Tuesday, 12 April 2011

In early 2011 the National Statistician conducted an independent review of crime statistics with the aim of increasing public confidence in these statistics.

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies worked with Professor Tim Hope of the University of Salford on a submission to the review. The Centre and Professor Hope argued:

'A fundamental principle for a democracy that uses evidence to inform its deliberations and decisions (i.e. an open society) is that no one body should have privileged ownership, control or use of the crime statistics, especially government ministers. Responsibility means not only safeguarding the reliability of the crime statistics that are produced but also facilitating the greatest public understanding, and widest usage, of the statistics by the widest range of users, each of whom is entitled to have access to, and be able to use the crime statistics for their particular purposes. The sum of such activities would properly serve the public interest as whole, and not just the interests of the government-of-the-day. Adherence to this principle would be the best way of increasing public trust in the crime statistics.'