Serious Crime

Home Department written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he gives to chief constables on the definition of serious crimes.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety)

No specific guidance is given on the definition of serious crime.

All police forces in England and Wales are required to submit monthly recorded crime statistics prepared in accordance with the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime. This contains a principal crime rule whereby if the sequence of crimes in an incident contains more than one type of crime the most serious crime is counted. In determining the most serious crime, the most serious violent crime takes precedence over the most serious property crime.

A full list of the offence headings which comprise the recorded crime series is issued to police forces, along with their definitions (most of which are in terms of criminal law definitions), as part of the Home Office Counting Rules. The list is also given in Table 3.04 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin 07/03 'Crime in England and Wales 2002–03' which was published in July 2003. That table also shows what offences within the violence against the person category are deemed to be more serious and less serious offences.

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