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Crime Of The Century - A Chilling Look At Crime Statistics In The UK Isn’t NCRS an unnecessary bureaucracy with lots of targets?


There are no targets within NCRS and it does not mandate police operational response to crime. It is a standard for recording crime in accordance with the law. The general principle of NCRS states:


An incident will be recorded as a crime for offences against an identified victim, if, on the balance of probability:


(a) the circumstances as reported amount to a crime defined by law (the police will determine this based on their knowledge of the law and the counting rules) and (b) there is no credible evidence to the contrary.


NCRS simply requires police to record sufficient information to justify its classification. For the public to have confidence in the police there is a minimum expectation that police will accurately record crimes. Some forces may choose to use their crime systems to capture more information than is required by NCRS, often being used by specialist teams/supplied to external partners.


Doesn’t NCRS criminalise people unnecessarily?


NCRS creates a consistent data set about crime allegations. The outcome that is applied to a crime may bring a suspect into the criminal justice system (Charge, Taken into Consideration etc), although the police response to a crime report is not set out in NCRS. NCRS by itself does not criminalise people.


What about fights in school playgrounds. Why are we recording these?


There is an agreed protocol between ACPO, Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families that can be found as an Annex to NCRS. In essence the school is encouraged to deal with issues on school premises and the only times crimes should be recorded are if they were serious or the parent, school or victim asks police specifically to deal with the matter.


OK, what about a call to a fight in a chip shop where police arrive soon after and cannot find anyone involved who wants to talk to police?


NCRS is victim based and so requires confirmation from a victim that a crime has occurred before it can be recorded. Where a call has been made in good faith by a third party although no victims come forward after reasonable enquiries then there is no requirement to record a crime.


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