Posted: Thu 15th Jun 2017

Cheshire Constabulary fail to record nearly 12,000 crimes a year police watchdog finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 15th, 2017

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It’s estimated neighbouring Cheshire Constabulary fail to record around 11600 crimes per year including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

That’s the findings of a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) today into Cheshire Constabularies crime recording processes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The HMIC has rated the force as “inadequate” following their latest ‘Crime Data Integrity Inspection’ which looks at how effective they are at accurately recording reported crime. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The report found the recording rate for violent crime is a ‘particular cause of concern’ at just over 80.9 percent of reported crime is logged on police systems. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

HMIC also found there is a failure of officers and staff to make correct crime-recording decisions at the first opportunity. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘This is due to deficiencies in the constabulary’s crime-recording processes, insufficient understanding of crime-recording requirements and limited supervision to correct the decisions of officers and staff and improve standards from the outset. This means that the constabulary is letting down many victims of crime’ the report says. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The police watchdog says the constabulary is failing to ensure it adequately records all reports of rape, other sexual offences and violence, including domestic abuse crimes and crimes reported directly to its public protection department. In addition, on most occasions, it is incorrectly using classification N100.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1497515894006{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-right: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;padding-left: 30px !important;background-color: #8aa4f2 !important;}”] ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Home Office classification N100

A record created to describe why reported incidents of rape or attempted rapes, whether from victims, witnesses or third parties, have not been immediately recorded as a confirmed crime. This can include where additional information confirms the rape did not occur, or where the rape occurred in another force area and was therefore transferred to the relevant force to record and investigate.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said:

Although we found that some improvements have been made to the way Cheshire Constabulary records crime, more needs to be done. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It is of great concern that we found unacceptable practices in important areas and many reports of crime not recorded. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Overall we estimate that the constabulary fails to record over 11,600 crimes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

These are not just related to offences such as burglary or criminal damage: we found that the constabulary was under-recording serious crimes such as violence and sexual offences. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Despite these areas for concern, we were pleased to find that the majority of officers and staff put the victim’s needs at the forefront of crime recording decisions. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The constabulary needs to close the gaps within its process so that all victims of crime get the service and support they deserve. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We have made recommendations to the constabulary that we expect to see urgently addressed. HMIC will re-visit Cheshire Constabulary in early 2018 to ensure progress has been made. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a statement released this morning, Cheshire police say they are disappointed to have been graded ‘inadequate.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘The grading is based on a sample of incidents between June and November last year. This showed that over 8 out of 10 (83%) of crimes reported were recorded accurately. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Since receiving the report every case highlighted has been thoroughly reviewed and the Constabulary has acted quickly to ensure that the appropriate support and safeguarding measures were in place for victims.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick said:

We accept the findings in the report. Progress has been made but we recognise that, like many other Forces, we have more to do. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We have already made changes in our crime-recording approach and historically also made significant financial investment in staffing in this arena. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The safeguarding of victims is always put at the heart of Cheshire’s crime recording process, and considered throughout any subsequent investigation. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

All cases where HMIC inspectors highlighted some issues have been fully reviewed to ensure appropriate support has been put in place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

While we agree that there have been some crime recording errors, this does not mean we are failing victims, nor does the report call into question the integrity of officers and staff. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The report recognises our good leadership in respect of crime recording and in-roads have been made already in addressing the recommendations in the report. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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