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Compendia Publications

The Digest of Information on the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System’s aim is to present, in a user-friendly way, a comprehensive picture of key developments and statistics relating to crime and justice in Northern Ireland. The Digest has historically drawn on information from a variety of statistical and administrative sources, including government departments, statutory agencies and non-statutory organisations.

Update to Department of Justice Digest of Information on the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland

The historic aim of the Digest of Information on the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System’s has been to present, in a user-friendly way, a comprehensive picture of key developments and statistics relating to crime and justice in Northern Ireland. It has done this by drawing on information from a variety of statistical and administrative sources, including government departments, statutory agencies and non-statutory organisations.

Update on recent consultations

The publication series ‘Digest of Information on the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System' was postponed in 2012 to enable an extensive user consultation exercise.

  1. Effectively, the first step in this process was an overall Review of Departmental information Needs which sought to establish the information categories that were required on a regular basis for the immediate business needs of the Departmental Board and (b) the wider information categories that were needed for a more medium term suite of statistics and data to inform the Department’s policy and strategic planning needs. This Review submitted its report in February 2013. While this Review included more than 25 interviews with strategic business users within the Department and its related Agencies, coverage of requirements by non-Departmental users was much less substantial. For example, while a number of local academics input to the Review, their contribution was sought more on research possibilities for and collaborations with the Department rather than on any specific data/statistical requirements that they might have.
  2. A small-scale follow-up exercise was therefore undertaken in May 2013 primarily with some external users to try to get a feel for their priorities/needs on the publication and how it was used by them. One of the common themes to come through from these consultations was the desirability of speedy access to up-to-date information, with an emphasis on easy navigability and summary headline information. This emphasis was mirrored in further findings with senior Departmental officials in a range of interviews undertaken in September 2013.
  3. Taking on board the substantive findings of the previous reviews, an online survey was therefore undertaken using both Departmental and non-Departmental users in November/December 2013. The full results of this survey (which had 64 respondents) are available in the attached document. In essence the survey strongly emphasised the importance of timeliness of the data (80% of respondents saying this was very important) and ease of access (59% saying this was very important). When asked if a new format for the Digest involving a much shorter Key Findings document with web-links to the original data sources would better suit user needs, 58% of respondents said it would (with a further 40% reporting either no difference or ‘don’t know’).

Findings from Digest of Information on the NI Criminal Justice System Consultation (PDF 39 KB)

Next steps

Following on from the outcome of the survey, work is now in train to seek approval for the change in format of the Digest and to put in place a web-based procedure which will meet user needs. It would be intended that substantive progress towards having this web-based procedure up and running would be in place by June 2014.

Your views sought

If there are any further comments you would wish to make or if you would like to register interest in being informed of further publications, please Contact us.