Thou­sands of re­ported crimes are go­ing un­recorded by po­lice

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Ni­cola Slaw­son

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%.

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