Report urges rethink on crime stats

The presentation and preparation of official crime statistics needs to be overhauled to help improve public confidence in their accuracy, The Statistics Commission has recommended.

In a report published last week, Whitehall's statistics watchdog said Home Office ministers and their advisers should not have any involvement in the preparation or publication of the official figures.

Currently, ministers can access official statistics 72 hours before they are made public. Critics believe this gives them and their PR advisers too great an opportunity to prepare responses in a bid to present the image that the Home Office is tough on crime, regardless of the figures. 

The commission wants responsibility for the compilation of statistics removed from Home Office ministers.

It also wants responsibility for the British Crime Survey moved from the department to the Office of National Statistics, among other changes.

The Home Office denied ministerial interference in statistics and said it will be ‘considering the recommendations'.

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