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Launching Poliscope National

Friday 1st October 2021

We are launching our first national version of Poliscope - a ground-breaking computer tool which uses data from 41 police forces to forecast crime trends and demand on policing.

Poliscope, which stands for Police Strategic Capability and Operations Performance, will be available for anyone to access free of charge and will be updated annually.

It enables people to examine historical and forecasted volumes of crime and anti-social behaviour in each police force area in England and Wales. It’s also possible to test the accuracy of forecasts as offences are recorded.

A subscription to an enhanced version of Poliscope which will be updated more regularly is also available via our website along with a quarterly digest of trends.

We can also work with forces at a local level to provide bespoke forecasts for specific areas of demand and to inform the force management statement process.

We have been working on Poliscope alongside data science experts Justice Episteme. In 2019, we developed our first Poliscope projects with two police forces, Bedfordshire and Nottinghamshire. Our approach, tailored to each constabulary, helped them understand past, current and future demand and shaped their resource requirements across the command structure.

In May 2021, we published initial findings from the first Poliscope national forecasts. We found that:

  • sexual offences and violent crimes recorded by police are expected to increase by a fifth over the next two years compared to pre-pandemic levels

  • drugs offences and public order offences are also forecast to rise, while burglary and robbery could go down

  • violent and sexual offences have been making up an increasing proportion of total crime

We have now re-run our forecasts with an additional three months’ data, and found that they are in line with what we anticipated. You can read more about this in our first quarterly digest of trends here. The digest also investigates some of the differences in trends in historical data and forecasts between different police force areas.

Our hope is that Poliscope can support local and national policing organisations as well as anyone with an interest in monitoring crime trends and demand for policing and justice services.

When you use the tool, we’d love to hear your feedback - it could help us make improvements to its functionality - so please get in touch at

Crest’s Poliscope lead is Ellie Covell, Head of Strategy (Performance) at Crest, a former police officer who previously worked at the Cabinet Office.

Justice Episteme’s Poliscope lead is Dr Savas Hadjipavlou, a former senior civil servant at the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health.


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