Spotlight: Offence types – Differences between Recorded Offences and Criminal Incidents

The latest spotlight released by the Crime Statistics Agency shows the method used to determine the principal offence type for a criminal incident, and how this impacts on counts by offence type of criminal incidents and recorded offences.

An overview of the criminal incident count is provided, and the differences between this and the offence count are examined through investigation of the three key steps in the derivation process for principal offence type:

  • the removal of out of scope offences
  • the introduction of criminal charge information, and
  • the aggregation of offence counts to a single principal offence.

Using specific offence type examples — Sexual offences, Serious assault and Public nuisance offences — the spotlight demonstrates the impact these steps may have on an offence type. It also shows how the criminal incident count may be higher or lower than the recorded offence count.

Further information can be found in the latest crime statistics quarterly release, available to download from the CSA website: