The role of our Serious Crime Analysis Section
SCAS was developed following the review of the Yorkshire Ripper Enquiry which highlighted the need for a national dataset to hold details of serious sexual offences committed in the UK. This dataset, which includes sexually motivated or motiveless murders, is the only of its type in the UK.
SCAS hold the national remit to conduct analysis on behalf of police forces covering England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Case files are received for offences meeting specific criteria from a network of Contact Officers located in every police force in the UK. This information is then coded onto ViCLAS (Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System), the in house SCAS database, which allows specific details of both the offence and known or unknown offenders to be captured.
Cases are then subject to comparative case analysis in order to identify any similar offences held on the database. Bespoke reports are sent out to force including details of crimes that are potentially linked or any possible suspects identified. The information held on the database can also be utilised to provide statistical support to assist prosecution.
Due to having a unique database with a specific dataset, SCAS also provides anonymised data to inform academic studies and research projects aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of SCAS operational practice, but also to more widely support UK policing in its efforts to tackle serious sexual offending nationally.
document SCAS did you know 2021 (56 KB)
Roles within SCAS
- 'Secrets of the Crime Analysts’ (BBC News article)
- 'Ugly mugs scheme improving Public safety’ (BBC Breakfast interview)