Inadequate Force told it must do better with recording crimes
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.”