Crime Cats (and some other things)

Hi all,

There’s a some changes we’d like to update you on, and information we’d like to highlight. If you have any comments, suggestions, thoughts then please let us know.

Amendments to crime categories – June 2013

Earlier this year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced changes to the way in which they will present police recorded crime data.  You can find further information here: 

For, this means:

1.  Violent crime will be renamed to “Violence and sexual offences”  (there will be no changes to the crimes within this category, but we’ll be renaming it to make clearer where sexual offences are categorised)

2. There will be a new category for “Bicycle Theft” (the “theft or unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle” crimes) which currently sits within “other theft”

3. There will be a new category for “Theft from the person” (the “theft from the person” crimes) which currently sits within “other theft”

4. Both “other firearms offences” and “other knives offences” which are in ‘other crime’ will move into “Public disorder and weapons”.  We’ll then also be splitting these into two new categories; “Public order” and “Possession of Weapons”

This won’t be creating work for forces – as we’ve switched to a process of allocating crimes into the public-facing categories centrally, based on the Home Office Offence Codes that forces include in the street-level upload each month. We’re currently finalising some testing, and the new categories will go live at the end of June, with data from the May upload (to confirm, nothing has happened as of yet - and there are no changes taking place this month). There will be new categories available in the API, and street-level CSVs.

ODI Immersion Programme

We’d like to highlight the ODI Immersion Programme to you – should you wish to participate. The ODI Immersion Programme will consist of a series of events run until the end of March 2015, convening a range of data owners and data users. This will help SMEs and start-ups to work with data providers, industry experts and business leaders to develop new ways to better understand how to reuse available data sets in ways which create business opportunities. Further details can be found at: 

Open Data Comes to Market – a report by Dr Keiron O’Hara

Dr Keiron O’Hara has published his “Open Data Comes to Market” report, which provides an account of a discussion seminar held earlier on this year at the Open Data Institute. In Dr O’Hara’s own words: “The seminar brought together developers, small businesses, government and other public sector officials to try to develop an understanding of what the ideal open data market would look like in the crime and criminal justice sector, in terms of the balances between public and private, small developers and large systems, and different ways of presenting data as accessible information”

You may be interested in Dr O’Hara’s views and we’d like to hear any additional comments. Have you used our data? Is there a reason perhaps why you haven’t? You can find his report here:

Get involved!

And finally, we're in the process of setting up a Data User Group in the future, to include anyone interested in discussing data issues with us on a regular basis - either via email or at face to face meetings. If you’d like to get involved (or would just like to get in touch!) then please drop me an email at:

Thank you! : )



Hi Amanda, thanks for the

Hi Amanda, thanks for the information. I've checked out the ODI Immersion programme and it appears the crime and justice series have almost finished. Do you know if there are any plans to start a new series from the beginning?

 Flag as offensive 


Hi Amanda,

Thanks for the info - the new categories look sensible!

Just a question: is it at all possible to apply these new categories from the start of 2013, and republish the data for the first few months of the year under the new categories? (or even better, take it right back to the start of 2012?!)  It would be really nice to be able to get complete years of one classification scheme (currently only 2012 is available from January to December with no changes to the categories mid-year).

Many thanks and best regards,


 Flag as offensive 

 Hi Johnathan, As all of

Hi Johnathan,

As all of the 43 forces in England and Wales [as well as BTP and PSNI] upload their data monthly, unfortunately we don’t hold the data centrally.  I do completely agree that it would be helpful to make the new categories available historically, but given the resourcing level in police forces and our need to reduce bureaucracy from the centre, it would be difficult to justify such a request.  The amount of work involved for forces to extract and re-upload their data varies – depending on the size of the force, the staffing/resourcing levels, and the IT systems they use.  As we still want consistency across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, any historical uploads will map the crime to the category relevant at that time.  It also ensures that we align with HMIC, ONS and other Home Office statistics, who are changing their categories for June/July. 

I hope that’s a useful explanation, but if you have any other queries or suggestions then please feel free to drop me an email.



 Flag as offensive 

Hi Amanda,I've been keeping

Hi Amanda,

I've been keeping a look out for the bicycle crime category in the API but it doesn't seem to have appeared yet on the neighbourhood endpoint.


 Flag as offensive