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Crime Detection Rates

    These statistics are categorised as Under Reservation. This categorisation indicates that the quality of these statistics do not meet the standards required of official statistics published by the CSO.

    For further information please refer to the Under Reservation FAQ page.

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Crimes where a suspected offender has been identified and sanctioned may be recorded as detected. Valid sanctions include charge or summons, formal and informal cautions (e.g. Adult Caution, Juvenile Caution), and fixed penalties (e.g. Fixed Charge Notice, Fixed Penalty Notice) for certain offences.

The detection rate is the proportion of recorded crimes which have been detected. Detection statistics are a ‘point-in-time’ measurement at the time the data used to compile the statistics was extracted from PULSE. Detection rates published here are compiled based on data extracted from the PULSE database on 2nd September 2019. Future Detection publications will use this September extraction date so as to facilitate comparison over time.

Detection rates may increase over time as more investigations are completed.

Detection rates for crimes reported in 2018

The detection rate for Groups 01a-01c (Murder, manslaughter, infanticide) for incidents reported in 2018 was 72%. The detection rate for Group 01d (Dangerous driving leading to death) was 81%. See Table 3.1.

The detection rate for 2018 incidents in Groups 02a-02e (Rape and sexual assault) was just over one in ten (11%).

Almost one in three incidents in Group 03 (Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences) were detected, and within this group, the detection rate for 03c (Assault causing harm, poisoning) was the highest (42%). 22% of incidents in Group 06c (Robbery from the person) were detected.

Around one in six reported incidents of Group 07 (Burglary and related offences) in 2018 had been detected by the beginning of September 2019, and around one in three incidents of Group 08 (Theft and related offences).

The detection rate for crimes in Group 10 (Controlled drug offences) stood at 85%, and an offender had been sanctioned in more than four out of five (81%) recorded incidents in Group 13 (Public order and other social code offences).

Show Table: Table 3.1 Detection rates for crimes reported in 2018 classified by offence type

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The gap in time between the end of the reporting period and the extraction date of the dataset heavily influences the proportion of crimes which have been detected, as some investigations may take months or years to reach conclusion. Hence, it is to be expected that detection rates for Q1 of a year will generally be higher than for Q2 and subsequent quarters, if the data is extracted at the same time, since there has been more time to conclude those investigations. As outlined in the background notes to this publication, detection rates for Q1 2018 will not be strictly comparable to subsequent quarters as the process improvements around detection reporting occurred during Q1. Additionally, care should be taken in the interpretation of quarterly changes where the absolute number of criminal incidents are relatively low in some crime groups.

Detection rates for crimes reported in Quarter 1 of 2018 tended to be higher than for crimes reported in Quarter 4, given the longer time period which had elapsed by the time data was extracted for the purpose of compiling statistics. The measured detection rate for Group 02 (Sexual offences) for crimes reported in Q2 2018 (11%) was higher than the rate measured for crimes reported in Q4 (7%), reflecting, at least in part, the time from the commission of the criminal incident to its analysis for this publication. The detection rate for Group 12 (Damage to property and to the environment) was 19% for crimes reported in Q2 and only slightly lower for crimes reported in Q4 (18%). See Figure 3.1 and Table 3.2.

Show Table: Table 3.2 Detection rates for crimes reported in 2018 classified by offence group and quarter

X-axis labelQ1Q2Q3Q4
01 Homicide Offences81867456
02 Sexual Offences171187
03 Attempts/Threats to Murder, assaults, harassments and related offences37313229
06 Robbery, Extortion and Hijacking Offences30282619
07 Burglary and Related Offences17181712
08 Theft and Related Offences35343430
10 Controlled Drug Offences94888378
12 Damage to Property and to the Environment20191918
13 Public Order and other Social Code Offences85798179

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