Crime Statistics: Gender Identity - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:23 pm on 24 April 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Fox of Buckley Baroness Fox of Buckley Non-affiliated 3:23, 24 April 2024

I am glad to hear from the Minister, who I know is sincere on this, that the Government are taking this seriously, because accurate statistics are vital for evidence-based criminal justice policy. First, can I press the Minister to agree that, at present, official crime data is not accurate, credible or consistent? FoI requests to countrywide police forces reveal that they use a wide variety of differing recording practices; commonly record self-declared gender identity instead of birth sex, which is not the same as on your birth certificate; and that suspected and even convicted male rapists are recorded as female if they say that they are women.

Secondly, does such dubious data undermine public trust in the believability of crime figures, and hinder voters in informed debates about criminal justice? This is especially important in the lead-up to the elections for local police and crime commissioners.