ACPO lead on crime statistics, Deputy Chief Constable Jeff Farrar said:

"The UK is regarded as having one of the most rigorous crime recording regimes in the world. The Service works hard to ensure that our data is as robust as it can be - we have to remain vigilant on the issue as anything less may impact on public confidence in police.

"There are clear standards in place for recording crime data both from ACPO and the Home Office which forces must comply with, and dedicated crime recording officers in each force oversee this process to ensure that the highest ethical standards are maintained.

"The long-term reduction in police recorded crime is closely aligned to a downward trend in the independently compiled British Crime Survey, which undermines the suggestion that crime recording does not match the reality. Similar reductions in crime have also been recorded across Europe and North America.

"Changes in society inevitably mean that the types of crimes committed can change, and we need to continually review the way we record crime so that police have accurate data on which to base their decisions about how best to deploy resource to cut crime and keep people safe.

"ACPO will continue to work with the Home Office and HMIC to support forces in their efforts to build even greater confidence in crime statistics."

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