The value of statistics on policing to public debate

Policing is changing through challenges and opportunities presented by technology, the mix of crimes that police deal with, the many non-crime related demands on police time and the complex problems they come across that need multi-agency responses. There is a story to tell about how policing is changing and we want to know how well statistics and data help to tell that story to inform public debate. If statistics and data do not do this coherently, the public debate risks being too narrowly focused on single headline stories like cuts in police spending or police screening-out crimes. More importantly it reduces the public’s ability to participate in democratic debate.

Our aim through this work is to increase the value of statistics and data on policing to improve public debate. Ultimately, we want to see statistics and data that better support the public’s need for information about policing, increase transparency and improve accountability of elected representatives.

We are starting with a review that will explore the demands on the police, the available statistics on policing and the public debate about policing across the UK. We want to understand how statistics might be improved to better support public debate on policing and what might prevent this happening. If you have specialist knowledge in this area we would be pleased to hear your views.

Email Pat MacLeod or Lewis Jack

 

Aim of our workTo increase the value of statistics on policing to improve public debate on this topic
What we want to achieveStatistics that better support the public’s need for information about policing, increase transparency and improve accountability of elected representatives
Our studyOur study investigates whether available statistics tell the public what the police are doing, including how policing is changing and the effect this has on resourcing. In the absence of statistics that tell the story of policing coherently and convincingly, the public will be uninformed and their ability to participate in democratic debate will be reduced
What we will investigatePolicing and the demands that are placed on the policeRecent public debate about the policeStatistics that describe aspects of policingObstacles that prevent statistics better informing the public debate
Evidence gatheringInterviews with police leaders and others with insight into policing and demand placed on the policeAnalysis of media storiesAnalysis of available statisticsInterviews with statistics producers, decision makers in government, and with police leaders and others with insight into police data
Review of published reports and attending eventsInterviews with journalists and other intermediaries in public debateAnalysis of media storiesReview of published reports and attending events
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