Jack Dromey – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jack Dromey on 2016-05-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office of 26 April 2016, Official Report, column 1363, on the Policing and Crime Bill, what steps she is taking to ensure that cybercrime is included in the crime statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics.

Mike Penning

In April 2012, the Home Secretary transferred the responsibility for the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and the publication of crime statistics to the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS) – to ensure the public had confidence in the statistics after years of poor data management.

A major strength of the CSEW has been its ability to compare crime types over time back to the 1980s. As ONS have acknowledged, over a period of time, new technologies such as the internet have expanded the scope of existing crime types and developed new ones, particularly in fraud and cybercrime. Therefore, following a period of extensive development work, ONS introduced new questions to the CSEW in October 2015. ONS have said that they will release estimates of fraud and cyber crime based on the first six months data (October 2015 to March 2016) alongside the main statistical bulletin in July 2016 and will label them as experimental statistics.

It is important to recognise that these data are not simply uncovering new crimes, but finding better ways of capturing existing crimes which were not measured as well in the past.