The Home Office has released its Statistical Bulletin, Crime Outcomes in England and Wales: year ending March 2019. This bulletin reports on notifiable offences recorded by police across England and Wales.
This release follows Commissioner Cressida Dick's comments in June, sharing that "overall police detection rates nationally are low, woefully low I would say in some instances, and the courts are emptying, not filling." The Commissioner pointed to extra resources, better use of technology and greater expertise as the solutions to this significant challenge facing policing.
The key findings from the report cover:
How police dealt with recorded crimes:
Overall, the percentage of crimes that resulted in a charge or summons (order to appear before a judge or magistrate) dropped from 9% to 8%. This drop is a further point in the downward trend since March 2015, when 15% of crimes resulted in a charge or summons.
Evidence suggests that the reasoning behind why these rates are falling is due to:
- Growing caseload for police officers
- A higher proportion of crimes that are being recorded are those types which are the "most challenging to investigate".
Figure 2.1 from the report reflects the outcomes assigned to 4 crime categories:
The length of time it took for recorded to get a police outcome:
The length of time taken for police forces to assign an outcome to crimes was dependent upon the offence type and outcome type.
The median average of time taken from the date of recording the crime to assigning an outcome was 9 days, an increase of 3 days from the previous reporting year.
Commissioner Dick pointed to the integral role that data can play, claiming that harnessing data more effectively would mean that “A very, very large proportion of crimes that currently occur could be prevented or at least successfully investigated in the reasonably near future by the use of data that is already theoretically available and technology that is already developed.”