Thousands of reported crimes are going unrecorded by police
Thousands of reported crimes including rape and violent attacks are going unrecorded by police, a watchdog has warned.
Two forces – Thames Valley and North Yorkshire – were singled out for their “inadequate” crime recording by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
The assessment of Thames Valley found that almost one in five offences (19.6%) was not being properly recorded, about 35,200 crimes a year, including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape. Inspector of constabulary Zoe Billingham said she was “disappointed” with the quality of crime recording in Thames Valley, but satisfied the force worked hard to ensure victims of crime are safeguarded. “It now needs to ensure there is proper supervision of crimerecording decisions,” she said.
The report on North Yorkshire estimated the force failed to record 9,200 reported crimes a year, also including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape. Inspector Matt Parr most recommendations from their 2014 report had been implemented, but there was still room for improvement. He said: “We estimate almost one in five crimes in North Yorkshire are not properly recorded. This is simply inexcusable. The force has robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of victims of these crimes, but too many offences continue to go unrecorded and therefore not investigated properly.”
Thames Valley said it would be addressing the concerns. John Campbell, the deputy chief constable, said: “This report makes for unwelcome reading.” Lisa Winward, the deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire police, acknowledged the force needs to do “much better”.
The findings are the latest from a series of rolling inspections looking at the crime data “integrity” of every police force in England and Wales. The programme was launched in 2015 after the national average under-recording of crimes was found to be an “inexcusably poor” 19%.