New police outcome categories and a bug fix

Hi,

In April 2014 the Home Office are introducing a new standard for police forces to use when recording the outcomes of crimes. This should help to improve the consistency and reliability of police outcome recording, and make it easier to accurately compare performance between forces.

As well as improving the quality of police outcome information generally, these changes have also given us an opportunity to make the outcome data on data.police.uk more granular.

We are waiting on Ministerial approval for these changes (so there is a chance yet that this is not final) but we hope to publish two new outcome categories from the end of May 2014 onwards.

  • A new ‘Formal action is not in the public interest’ category. Previously these outcomes would have been classed as either ‘No further action’ or ‘Unable to proceed’ depending on the force.
  • A new ‘Offender given a drugs possession warning’ category. Previously these outcomes would have been included in the ‘Caution’ category.
  • Renaming of the ‘No further action’ category to ‘Investigation complete; no suspect identified’.

I’ll post an update as soon as this is confirmed.

At the same time we hope to make an update to the CSV downloads on data.police.uk. There has been a long-standing bug which has meant that the category names used in the Outcome Type column are inconsistent with the API and system internals. We have avoided fixing this bug until now to minimise change for data users, but with the introduction of new categories anyway it seems to appropriate time to apply the fix.

The affected categories will be:

  • "Offender sentenced as part of another case" relabelled to "Suspect charged as part of another case"
  • "Offender given community penalty" relabelled to "Offender given community sentence"
  • "Offender imprisoned" relabelled to "Offender sent to prison"
  • "Suspect found not guilty" relabelled to "Defendant found not guilty"
  • "Offender required to pay compensation" relabelled to "Offender ordered to pay compensation"
  • "Suspect sent to Crown Court" relabelled to "Defendant sent to Crown Court"

This will be applied retrospectively to all available CSV files. There will be no change to the API.

If you’ve got any questions please let me know.

Alex Edwards

Home Office Technology