In­ad­e­quate Force told it must do bet­ter with record­ing crimes

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Leigh BOOBYER [email protected]­plc.com

GLOUCES­TER­SHIRE po­lice fail to record nearly 8,000 re­ported crimes ev­ery year, a re­port has con­cluded.

Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary’s crime record­ing ar­range­ments have been rated in­ad­e­quate by Her Majesty’s In­spec­torate of Con­stab­u­lary and Fire and Res­cue Ser­vices.

The crime data in­tegrity re­port said the 7,900 re­ported crimes which go un­recorded a year “de­prives many vic­tims of the ser­vices to which they are en­ti­tled”.

Of the un­recorded re­ports, a to­tal of 4,200 a year were re­ports of vi­o­lent crime.

Chief Con­sta­ble Rod Hansen said the in­ci­dents are “pre­dom­i­nately a record­ing fail­ure not a ser­vice fail­ure”.

He added there has been a “lack of un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of crime record­ing but I want to stress we are fully com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties and keep­ing ev­ery­one safe”.

HM Inspector of Con­stab­u­lary Wendy Wil­liams said: “The force has demon­strated strong per­for­mance in

other ar­eas of polic­ing, but must make im­me­di­ate im­prove­ments at al­most ev­ery stage of the crime record­ing process, oth­er­wise vic­tims will con­tinue to be let down.

“Even when it has enough in­for­ma­tion from which to record a crime fol­low­ing an ini­tial call, there are un­nec­es­sary and un­ac­cept­able de­lays. “

She con­tin­ued: “Call han­dlers ob­tain the in­for­ma­tion they need from vic­tims in an em­pa­thetic man­ner and doc­u­ment it on the in­ci­dent log.

“But the force doesn’t make enough use of it within sub­se­quent crimere­cord­ing de­ci­sions.

“Too of­ten this means it doesn’t record re­ported crimes at all. And on oc­ca­sion this can lead to vic­tims dis­en­gag­ing.

“How­ever, it is im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge that our in­spec­tion did re­veal some ar­eas of good prac­tice.

“The force has im­proved its record­ing of mod­ern slav­ery of­fences.

“We were impressed with the force’s Ini­tial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Team, which should pro­vide a firm plat­form for im­prov­ing the ser­vice to vic­tims.

“We hope that this re­port will act as a catalyst for im­prove­ment in how the force records crime.”

The re­port con­cluded: “Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary’s crime record­ing ar­range­ments are in­ad­e­quate.

“It must now work hard to make the nec­es­sary im­prove­ments so that vic­tims of crime can be con­fi­dent their re­ports will be taken se­ri­ously, recorded and in­ves­ti­gated.

“The force must im­prove its crime record­ing pro­cesses, make sure that of­fi­cers and staff fully un­der­stand the stan­dards ex­pected of them, and su­per­vise these stan­dards ef­fec­tively.”

Mr Hansen, in­set, said: “A full plan to ad­dress these short­com­ings has been pre­pared and much has al­ready been im­ple­mented.

“We would like to re­as­sure peo­ple we have re­viewed all the in­ci­dents raised in the re­port and this is pre­dom­i­nately a record­ing fail­ure not a ser­vice fail­ure.

“That means in many of the cases iden­ti­fied a good level of ser­vice was given to a vic­tim, even though we didn’t cre­ate a crime re­port for it.

“Where we have let our­selves down is that we have not al­ways com­plied with na­tional record­ing stan­dards by mak­ing a sep­a­rate crime record where ap­pro­pri­ate.

“This is not the same as let­ting down a vic­tim or fail­ing to safe­guard them.”

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