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Children: Abuse

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure that data on offences against children are recorded by (a) age of victim and (b) offence and made available at national level. (137460)

The police record crimes that come to their attention committed against all victims, including children (those aged under 16). Information in the Home Office police recorded crime statistics do not currently separately identify the age of offenders or victims.

Work is in progress to develop a data system that will allow such information to be produced in the future. Record level data from all forces in England and Wales will be collated in a central data hub within the Home Office. Information on individual offences will be returned, including the offence type and victim characteristics such as age. This system will be used to derive and present police recorded crime statistics nationally and sub-nationally. Statistics will be released within the annual Crime in England and Wales bulletin, as part of National Statistics. However, before that happens a full assessment of the reliability and completeness of any new data collected will have to be made.