Crime Recording in Schools

In April 2002, the police service in England (and Wales) adopted the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) which governs the way in which police record crime. Using this standard, the police will record an incident as a crime if, on the balance of probability:-

  1. The circumstances as reported amount to a crime defined by law (the police will determine this based on their knowledge of the law and counting rules); and
  2. There is no evidence to the contrary

Criminal Activity in Schools

When a Parent, Carer or Teacher reports a criminal offence that occurs

  1. on school premises, and
  2. during school hours,

the victim, (or person acting on behalf of the victim) has the option to choose whether the incident is dealt with by normal school disciplinary measures, rather than via the police process. This excludes indictable offences as this can only be dealt with via the Police recording system. Contact your local police officer to seek clarification upon incidents. If a parent, carer (or person acting on behalf of the victim) is not happy for the matter to be dealt with through normal school disciplinary measures they can insist upon formal Police involvement and the incident will therefore be recorded as a crime

Indictable Offences

These are the more serious crimes and include murder, manslaughter and rape. All indictable offences must be tried at the Crown Court, but the first hearing is dealt with at the Magistrates’ Court. The magistrate will decide if the defendant should be given bail. The case is then transferred to the Crown Court. (See Indictable Offences list)

Any offence is serious only if its commission has led to any of the consequences set out below, or is intended to lead to any of these consequences:

  1. Serious harm to the security of the state or to public order
  2. Serious Interference with the administration of justice or with the investigation of offences or a particular offence
  3. The death of any person
  4. Serious Injury to any person
  5. Substantial financial gain to any person

A serious incident is one which in the view of the child, parent or guardian or the child’s representative any incident that has led or is intended to / likely to / threatened to lead to serious harm or loss to any school child.

Examples of these serious offences are listed on the right. The list is not exhaustive and it is good practice to contact the Police for incidents considered to be more than general school misbehaviour. The officer will consider the nature and seriousness of an incident before deciding whether to officially record the matter, immediately or at a later stage, as a recordable crime.

Serious Incidents

When a serious incident occurs (as defined above) the DfE states that the school and the police should complete the following:

  • The school records the serious incident The school reports the serious incident to the police The police officer records the serious incident as a crime in accordance with the NCRS
  • Having brought the matter to the attention of the school, the school can create a formal request for the police to deal.

Managing School Behaviour

  • It is important that police officers conform to and do not usurp the disciplinary authority of a school
    Officers working in or with schools should reach a consensus with the school upon how incidents will be dealt. It is important that the school and the police are consistent in their approach to the recording of incidents, and accurate records are kept identifying the nature of the incident and how it was dealt with.
  • It is the responsibility of School managers and staff, not police officers, to deal with and record behavioural incidents involving children and young people on a school site in the first instance, even though it may be decided later that some cases amount to criminal conduct.
  • Serious Assaults (GBH with Intent etc.)
  • Rape,
  • Sexual Assaults,
  • Sexual Activity
  • Kidnapping
  • Publication of Obscene material
  • Serious Fraud/Financial Loss
  • Murder
  • Treason
  • Manslaughter
  • Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
  • Causing or Allowing the Death of a child or Vulnerable adult
  • Drugs Offences
  • Racial Incidents
  • Any other incident deemed serious enough for police involvement