Crime Recording At North Wales Police Examined
As an interim report on crime data integrity by HMIC has identified ‘serious concerns’ about the crime-recording process nationwide, we take a look at the report and results for North Wales Police.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) says “The inspection of crime data integrity intends to identify to what extent police-recorded crime information can be trusted”
North Wales Police are in the set of forces that have already been inspected, and data relating to them is in the initial interim report release (PDF here).
Crunching the sample numbers we worked the raw figures into percentages of the overall sample to allow a more direct comparison with other forces.
The highest difference between the number of recorded crimes and those that should have been recorded was at Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Police.
North Wales Police performed best out of all forces in this sample ranking, with City Of London Police and Essex Police in a similar ballpark of performance.
The table giving these conclusions is prefaced with “As part of the inspection, we carried out an audit on a sample of incident reports in each force. We assessed these incidents to determine if the matter reported required the recording of a crime and, if so, whether a crime was recorded. The results of those audits are summarised in the table below:”
There is a note to the above data giving further context saying “These numbers are not final and may be subject to change as part of the inspection programme. Therefore the data presented here should be treated as a snapshot of what has been seen to date. The data are drawn from a dip-sample of records and as such are not statistically significant or representative for each force but will be used in time to give an indication of performance across England and Wales”
A further note to consider is “…it is important to note that the table above contains the data that relate only to the primary recording route used by all forces: that is where a force control room creates an incident record and a crime record is completed, where appropriate, at a later stage. Our final report will contain data from both recording routes.”
This does mean there are five crimes in the North Wales Police sample that were felt ought to have been reported, and no detail of the type and nature of those crimes aside from a comment from North Wales Police saying “There were no incidents in North Wales where rape offences had not been properly recorded.”
A second table lists crimes being ‘inappropriately recorded as no-crimes’. This scenario exists where crimes are found not to have taken place, therefore the incident is reclassified as a non-crime, examples given are items thought to be stolen that are concluded as lost, or , false crime allegations are made.
In this sample set North Wales Police did not perform as well, being 9th out of 13 forces studied so far, however we note the large gap between the bottom three eg. 79% for North Wales Police, and Cheshire Police on 59%. North Yorkshire Police and Cheshire Police again faired badly.
The interim report states “Our definitive findings in October 2014 will be based on the most extensive national audit and inspection ever undertaken by HMIC into crime-recording integrity.”
“Forces visited are already responding to our findings and are adapting their practices as feedback is provided. ”
North Wales Police told us “North Wales Police is among the top performing forces in England and Wales for correctly recording crimes in its area.”
Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said; “North Wales Police has strong structures to manage crime recording and the HMIC report shows that our performance demonstrates effective management of crime.
“We appreciate that proper crime recording is essential in order to retain public confidence and we are reviewing the findings to seek to further strengthen our procedures.”
For those who wish to read the interim report the PDF is here. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com