Information needed Response
Title and link to statistical output Police officer uplift, quarterly update to March 2021
Name of producer organisation Home office
Name and contact details of person dealing with report John Flatley
0207 035 0624
Name and contact details of Head of Profession for Statistics or Lead Official Daniel Shaw (Head of Profession)
Link to published statement about the breach (if relevant)
Date of breach report 30 April 2021

Information needed Response
Relevant principle(s) and practice(s) Trustworthiness – orderly release of official statistics
Date of occurrence of breach 28 April 2021

During Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons, on Wednesday 28th April, the Prime Minister quoted unpublished management information. The PM referred, in passing, to the 8,771 additional police officers that have been recruited. This number was one of several due for release by the Home Office at 9.30am the following morning.

A small number of people receive pre-release access to the Police Officer Uplift statistics in No.10, including the Prime Minister who was updated on these during the 24-hour pre-release period and prior to his appearance at PMQs. In such a fast paced environment the handling instructions included on our prerelease materials were overlooked and the number inadvertently disclosed.

The breach did not attract external interest and had no further impact beyond the early release of one
number, Nevertheless, we considered whether to bring forward the release of the official statistics in the
interests of transparency and to allow the PM’s claim to be fact-checked. We decided not to do so in this
case because only one number was announced without significant follow up and full details were published on schedule the next morning. The Home Office statement of compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics does not currently set out the basis on which a decision to bring forward publication in such circumstances.

We have reminded those with pre-release access to statistics in their final form of their obligations to handle such data appropriately and in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

We will also revise the Home Office statement of compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics to
address a gap in it about how we will assess in future whether or not to bring forward the publication of
statistics in the event of a similar breach of the Code. It is intended that this will be included in the next
update of the report in September.

Finally, ahead of the next release we will consider publishing these statistics on Wednesdays (rather than
Thursdays), so that the figures are published ahead of PMQs. We will need to consult with our data suppliers and our publication team to fully understand the practicalities of this before we make a final decision.