Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

47.  Fifth supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office



  The Committee would like to include in its report a figure for the percentage of the black population aged 10-17 who have a criminal record. Presuming these figures aren't readily available, we would appreciate the Home Office's best estimate of the following information so we can reach an approximate calculation ourselves.

    (i)  the proportion of the black male population aged 10-17 and aged 18-20 who are included on the Offenders Index (or the Police National Computer) and

    (ii)  the proportion of the black female population aged 10-17 and aged 18-20 who are included on the Offenders Index (or the Police National Computer) compared to

    (iii)  the proportion of the male and female population overall aged 10-17 and aged 18-20 who are included on the Offenders Index (or the Police National Computer) and

    (iv)  the figure for white males and females of the same age.


  We are unable to provide the information you have requested. The Offenders Index holds very limited information on the ethnicity of offenders. Whilst we have used data for recent years from the extract we hold of the Police National Computer (PNC) to provide information on the rates of re-offending by specific groups of offenders, we have not previously used the PNC to estimate the number or proportion of the population with criminal records and we understand that PNC data for earlier years may not provide a complete picture of criminal histories. Ethnicity data held on the PNC uses the Phoenix classification, which relies on the visual assessment of ethnicity by the police. This classification differs from that used for population data in England and Wales which is based on the "16+1" categories used for the Census and which relies on self classification rather than visual assessment. The Census classification includes a number of "mixed" categories which do not directly correspond to any of the categories used for the PNC data. For these reasons the data recorded on the PNC cannot be used to provide a reliable estimate of the proportion of the black population with a criminal record.


  The Committee would also be grateful if you could clarify the basis for the figure which states that black people are five times more likely to be a victim of homicide. Is this figure a comparison with rates per 1,000 people for the population as a whole, for example, or just for white people?


  Black people are five times (actually it's 5.5 times) more likely to be a victim of a homicide than White people. So it's a comparison between rates for Black and White. The calculation is based on per 10,000 population rates (due to relatively small numbers of homicides annually) and uses combined homicide data for the three years—2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05. Note: excludes 172 homicides of White people by Shipman and 20 Morecambe Bay homicides.

May 2007

  [Source: Race and the CJS: An overview to the complete statistics 2004-05]

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 15 June 2007