Crime

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on crime. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
09.11.2016Drug seizures and offending: Social Indicators page
A summary of statistics on drug use, drug seizures and drug offences.
08.11.2016Crime in England & Wales: Social Indicators page
Crime in England & Wales: Social Indicators page.
28.10.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Lords amendments
The Investigatory Powers Bill would overhaul the framework governing the use of surveillance by the intelligence and security agencies and law enforcement to obtain the content of communications and communications data.This paper provides an overview of significant Lords amendments to the Bill.
11.10.2016Harassment: "Police Information Notices" or "Early Harassment Notices" in England and Wales
The police sometimes issue warning notices to individuals where there are allegations of harassment. This note explains what these are and why they are used.
08.09.2016Knives and offensive weapons
This Commons Library briefing paper provides information on the two main categories of offence relating to knives and offensive weapons in England and Wales: offences relating to possession and offences relating to sale and supply. This briefing sets out the various offences and sentences which are contained in a number of pieces of legislation. It also describes police guidance on cautioning and charging and government policy on knife crime.
16.08.2016The age of criminal responsibility
This Commons Library briefing discusses the debate around raising the age of criminal responsibility - the age below which a child is deemed not to have the capacity to commit a crime.
11.08.2016The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry which formally opened in July 2015. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign; on 4 August 2016, Justice Goddard resigned as the Chair of the statutory inquiry and on 11 August it was announced that Professor Alexis Jay would be the new Chair.
22.07.2016Modern Slavery Act 2015: Recent Developments
Modern slavery is organised crime encompassing sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude. All the countries of the UK have brought in legislation to deal with the problem of modern slavery. This briefing paper looks at the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which applies in England and Wales.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Crime, Policing and Justice
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on crime, policing and justice.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics 2016
This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
05.07.2016Policing and Crime Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the provisions of the Policing and Crime Bill. It focuses on the provisions of the Bill which concern the emergency services; the police complaints and disciplinary systems; the police workforce; police powers; and the protection of children and vulnerable adults. It outlines the policy background in those areas, and a summary of some of the key amendments made to the Bill during committee and report stages in the House of Commons.
27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.
21.06.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Bill ahead of its Lords stages.
13.11.2014Modern Slavery Bill (HL Bill 51 of 2014-15)
This Library Note provides information on the Modern Slavery Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 17 November 2014.
03.07.2014Deregulation Bill (HL Bill 33 of 2014-15)
The Deregulation Bill is a wide-ranging bill that is intended to remove or reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, civil society, individuals, public sector bodies and the taxpayer across a number of policy areas including: general and specific areas of business, companies and insolvency, the use of land, housing, transport, communications, the environment, education and training, entertainment, public authorities and the administration of justice.
25.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (HL Bill 30 of 2014-15)
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill contains a range of proposals across four areas: criminal justice; young offenders; courts and tribunals; and judicial review. This Library Note summarises the key debates that took place on the Bill at report stage and third reading in the House of Commons, highlighting amendments made to the Bill, and refers to some of the other issues raised by MPs.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
25.05.2016Addressing Islamic Extremism
In the UK, groups that hold extreme views have included nationalists, the far right, and more recently Islamic extremists. Government policy has mainly focused on the latter although the Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech and due to be introduced this year, covers most types. This POSTnote looks at Islamic extremism, radicalisation and deradicalisation, and the policy responses to violent and non-violent extremism.
17.05.2016Education in Youth Custody
Recent government policy emphasises putting education at the heart of youth custody. A review of the youth justice system is due to be published in summer 2016. This POSTnote looks at the literature on the provision and quality of education in youth custody in England and Wales. And it examines the challenges in providing education to a population with particular needs.
09.03.2016Digital Forensics and Crime
Digital forensic science is the process of obtaining, analysing and using digital evidence in investigations or criminal proceedings. Digital evidence ranges from images of child sexual exploitation to the location of a mobile phone. This note looks at the use of digital forensics by UK law enforcement agencies. It covers how evidence is obtained, the legislation and regulation in this area, and the efforts being made to address the challenges faced by practitioners.
16.12.2015Policing Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse refers to a range of behaviours - psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional - that are directed towards partners, ex-partners or family members. This POSTnote examines the prevalence and nature of domestic abuse and the policing response. It examines how the policing response could be informed by research about the effectiveness of current and alternative approaches, and the possible benefits for victims, their families and offenders.
22.10.2015Unintentional Bias in Court
When asked to interpret information and draw conclusions, people are prone to a number of well understood, unintentional errors in reasoning called cognitive biases. This POSTnote examines how cognitive biases affect reasoning and decision-making, and outlines strategies to minimise their influence in court.
30.09.2015Forensic Language Analysis
This note examines forensic language analysis, the scientific validity of procedures and their applications, and explores the issues surrounding their use.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
31.10.2011Government response to the seventh report of the Science and Technology Select Committee on the Forensic...
Government response. Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
05.07.2011Draft sentencing guidelines: drugs and burglary.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
22.06.2011Forensic Science Service.
Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
08.03.2011The National DNA Database.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee; Home Office report [Commons]
18.01.2011Money laundering: data protection for suspicious activity reports.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
11.01.2012DISTRACTION BURGLARIES
That this House notes the rise of so-called distraction burglaries on vulnerable elderly people; expresses condemnation on those who would carry out these attacks; calls on the police ...
02.11.2011THEFT OF METALS FROM WAR MEMORIALS AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
That this House notes with concern the recent spate of reports of metal thefts from war memorials and places of worship; denounces recent thefts such as the four foot bronze statue ...
15.09.2011MOBILE TELEPHONE THEFTS
That this House notes that customers are liable for the cost of telephone calls incurred on their mobile telephones after they are stolen and before the theft is noticed and reported; ...
05.09.2011SCRAP METAL THEFT
That this House notes with concern the increasing prevalence of scrap metal theft; denounces the recent desecration of the Civilian War Memorial in Portsmouth's Kingston Cemetery and ...
14.07.2011DRIVING WHEN TIRED
That this House notes that driving after little sleep, or failing to take regular breaks duringlong drives, is lethal, with one in five fatal crashes on motorways and other monotonous ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses