Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics
The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced in April 2002. The introduction of NCRS led to a rise in recording in year ending March 2003 and in the following years as forces continued to improve compliance with the new standard.
Includes the British Transport Police.
Prior to year ending March 2009, the police sent combined figures for harassment (8L, 8M) and public fear, alarm and distress (9A, 9B) offences. For the years ending March 2003 to March 2008, figures for these offence groups are estimated based upon the proportionate split between the offences in year ending March 2009.
Stalking (8Q) was introduced as a separate crime classification in April 2014, following the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 section 111. Before this, stalking offences were included within harassment offences (8L).
"Changes in the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR), implemented in April 2015, resulted in the recording of two additional harassment offences (Disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with the intent to cause distress or anxiety’ and ‘Sending letters with intent to cause distress or anxiety’; the latter includes any form of electronic communication), not previously counted as notifiable offences under the headline category of violence without injury. There is no available back-series for these additional notifiable offences. Subsequently, from April 2017 these offences were moved into a new classification 8R (malicious communications).
From April 2018 a change to the Home Office Counting Rules means in a course of conduct amounting to either stalking or harassment or controlling and coercive behaviour this offence will be recorded in addition to the most serious additional offence involving the same victim/offender. This is expected to cause an increase in offences recorded against harassment and stalking.