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Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 8 June 2009, Official Report, columns 768-70W, on fines, for what reason the publication of data for 2008 on penalty notices for disorder will not take place before the end of January 2010; and if he will make a statement. (305066)

‘Criminal Statistics, England and Wales’ is an annual national statistic publication covering a range of pre-court disposals (including penalty notices for disorder), court proceedings and outcomes. The publication is normally scheduled for late autumn of the following year to which it refers. The length of time from end of the year to publication is due to the extensive validation checks that are carried out to ensure where possible individual data are consistent with both legislation and the actual outcome at court. This requires direct liaison with court staff to confirm the accuracy of these data.

The Ministry of Justice had pre-announced, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, that the publication covering data for the calendar year of 2008 would be released in November 2009. Since announcing this date, data quality issues were encountered. To allow sufficient time to resolve these issues the publication was delayed. An update on the delay of this publication was released on the Ministry of Justice website on 9 October 2009.

The publication of Criminal Statistics is planned for publication on 28 January 2010.