Separation of crime and outcome data publication

Anonymisation and data granularity consultation

Thank you for the responses to our last email about location anonymisation. We have analysed them, and we are working towards introducing some of the functionalities to Police.uk in the near future.

If you have any further comments regarding the anonymisation process and snap point granularity please let us know.

Potential separation of crime and outcome data publication

As you may have noticed in the last few months publication of monthly data has frequently been delayed. The main factor behind this is the growth of data sitting behind Police.uk (close to 4 years worth of all crime and outcomes) and it is simply taking longer to process and prepare for publication each month. Sometimes we have not been able to notify you in advance that the publication will be late, for which we are sorry.

The most time-consuming part of the preparation process is matching the crime data (provided by police forces) with the court outcome data (provided by the Ministry of Justice). This matching is done externally by the Ministry of Justice and now usually takes them between 4 and 6 working days to complete. You can find out more about court result matching here: http://data.police.uk/about/#court-result-matching.

To reduce the delays in publishing the crime data we are considering separating the publication of crime data from the publication of court outcome data. Splitting the publication would enable us to publish crime data as soon as it is made available to us by the police forces and processed (possibly around the 20th day of every month). The court outcomes would be made available near the beginning of the following  month.

We do not expect this change would impact casual visitors to Police.uk in a major way, however we are curious to hear whether it would cause anyone using the data we publish any issues. Please let us know whether you think this approach would work or not, and why. We will take all responses into consideration when deciding on future approach to publication.

Comments

Anonymisation and data granularity consultation

I think this is a good idea, mainly because I suspect most people who use police.uk data primarily use the crime data. My only concern would be whether the earlier publication of crime data might gives forces less time to notice any mistakes in their initial submission. There have been several instances of partial data for particular forces being published because no one has noticed that, for example, no criminal-damage offences have been recorded for a month. Maybe some of the additional time this change would create could be used for quality assurance?

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Potential separation of crime and outcome data publication

The crime data we receive is already much later, and less detailed, than the data we were provided with by local police before the new Home Office system was introduced. Delaying the matching between crime data and outcome data would be a small price to pay for getting more timely crime data. Thank you for asking for comments on this.

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I support this proposal

My own use of bulk data from Police.uk is not particularly sensitive to publication dates. However I agree it seems to make practical sense to separate publication of the crime data and the court outcome data.

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What will happen in practice?

What will happen in practice? The court outcome data will now be visible some time after the police data for a specific case? Is that delay going to be limited in time, or isn't there a risk that MOJ will fall behind as it takes longer and longer to match both datasets?

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