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Critics claim crime statistics revamp will mislead public

Crime statistics are to be overhauled in an attempt to allay public fears that many alleged offences are never properly investigated by police.

Crime statistics are to be overhauled in an attempt
to allay public fears that
many alleged offences are never properly investigated
by police.

Policing minister Damian Green said the new system, to be phased in in England and Wales from the start of the new year, should bring greater transparency to the way crimes are dealt with.

However Labour expressed concern that the government was simply trying to disguise the impact of its policing cuts on the crime figures.

Currently around 70 per cent of crimes are recorded as "undetected," with no indication as to why they did not lead to criminal charges.

But under the new framework there will be a series of category headings indicating why no action
was taken.

They will include "prosecution prevented" on the grounds that a suspect has been identified but is below the age of criminality or is too ill to stand trial.

Other headings will include "evidential difficulties," such as a key witness is unable or unwilling to give evidence,
and "prosecution not in the public interest."

The new framework will come into force in Humberside on January 1 and will be rolled out across the rest of England and Wales from April.

Labour shadow crime and security minister Diana Johnson said that while greater transparency in the crime statistics was welcome, it could not disguise the fact that fewer cases were being solved under the current government.

"No amount of changing the statistics can get away from the fact that fewer prosecutions are taking place for domestic violence, child sex abuse and rape on this government's watch despite more crime being recorded for these most serious crimes," she said.

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