The effect of ‘third party’ pressure on police crime recording practice

Hope, TJ 2014, 'The effect of ‘third party’ pressure on police crime recording practice' , Enquiry into Crime Statistics Public Administration Select Committee, House of Commons .

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Recorded crime is best seen nowadays as an output measure of the delivery of public police services. This note concerns the effect of ‘third-parties’ on the recording as crime of incidents brought to the attention of the police. Third-party pressures are those that emanate from sources other than the complainant who reports an incident and the police officers who deal with that report. There are a variety of such third-party pressures that have a systematic influence on the aggregate patterns and trends observed in the recorded crime statistics, including moral pressure, insurers’ requirements, performance targets, and recording standards themselves. • The gap between the public’s propensity to report crime to the police and the police decision to record it creates a ‘grey figure’. • The grey figure also reflects systematic performance adjustment on the part of the police who seek to reconcile third party pressures with the capacities and resources at their disposal. Three strategies of adjustment can be identified: not-crimeing, no-crimeing, and down-crimeing. Evidence is presented whereby these possible effects can be inferred. Combinations of third-party pressure and systematic performance adjustment have complex and variable effects on the recorded crime statistics. While it might be possible in principle to change these third-party pressures so as to ‘nudge’ crime recording in more accurate and reliable directions, in practice this might be a substantial undertaking since they reflect the complex social and political arrangements of the delivery and accountability of public police services

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Written evidence submitted to the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC), House of Commons, Enquiry into Crime Statistics. Ordered to be Published 11 November 2013
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Enquiry into Crime Statistics Public Administration Select Committee, House of Commons
Refereed: No
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Prof Tim Hope
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 17:13
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 16:06

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