Crime recording standards exceed target

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The standard of crime recording within Scotland’s eight police forces is high with all forces exceeding the set target against their own force audit.

The findings are published today in a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS), which audited both the internal recording processes of each force as well as undertaking separate analysis of recording standards across three specific crime areas – domestic abuse, vandalism and minor assault.


The standard of crime recording within Scotland’s eight police forces is high with all forces exceeding the set target against their own force audit.

The findings are published today in a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS), which audited both the internal recording processes of each force as well as undertaking separate analysis of recording standards across three specific crime areas – domestic abuse, vandalism and minor assault.

The report showed that while the standard of recording for all crimes exceeded the target, the separate analysis of three specific crime type showed more variation.

HM Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland, Bill Skelly said:
“This is the first audit conducted since crime recording standards were introduced in 2004. I am pleased that all forces are exceeding the required national target and I have confidence that forces are continually working towards improving standards of crime recording.

“As part of our audit we also assessed a selection of records for individual incidences of domestic abuse, vandalism and minor assault. In these we found more variation.

“While this in itself was not a full audit, forces will want to consider the results and in some cases make further assessments themselves.

“Now that the crime recording standard is established we have also taken this opportunity to invite the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) to consider whether a 95 per cent crime target for all crime types is appropriate when you consider the difference in risk between for example domestic abuse and vandalism.

“Individually and nationally police forces and ACPOS analyse crime data to inform decisions including the effective allocation of resource. It is, therefore, essential that this analysis and the decisions that flow from it are based on as accurate a picture of crime as possible. I trust that the areas we have highlighted provide forces with a starting point from which to consider their current processes and procedures in more detail.”