Effective oversight has positive impact on Gwent Police’s crime-recording decisions, inspectors find
Gwent Police’s strong leadership has driven the force’s good progress in the force’s approach to crime recording, but there is still scope for improvement, according to a new report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS).
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HMICFRS previously inspected the accuracy of crime recording in Gwent Police in 2014. The report found that since then, the force had carried out all the inspectorate’s recommendations and streamlined processes in the communication suite.
Inspectors also commended Gwent Police’s senior team for its strong leadership on crime-recording matters. They noted that the force had effective measures in place to record crimes reported by vulnerable victims of crime, such as victims of sexual offences and modern slavery.
However, the report raised some concerns about how the force recorded crimes relating to domestic abuse, harassment and common assault.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I was pleased to see that Gwent Police had taken our feedback on board and got to work on our recommendations. The senior leadership has led from the front, and I am confident that officers and staff place the victim at the heart of their crime-recording decisions.
“A victim’s first contact with the police is often through the force’s communication’s suite, so it was encouraging to see that Gwent Police has overhauled its crime-recording processes. As a result, the force is now recording more crimes within 24 hours. That means that it can make more referrals to Connect Gwent, the local victim support service, and get victims the help they need.
“However, we did identify a few teething problems. Supervision of frontline officer’s and staff in the communication suite can be limited, so call handlers aren’t always taking down all the details they need. Officers need all the information they can get to help them make the right crime-recording decisions and kick off the investigation process.
“There is more to do, particularly when it comes to reports of domestic abuse. But I know that the force has already put together a comprehensive plan to make sure it does better for victims of this terrible crime. We have seen that Gwent Police is committed to putting the work in, so I am confident the force will take the necessary action to improve.”
HMICFRS plans to monitor Gwent Police’s progress. As with all police forces, the inspectorate may carry out another unannounced crime data integrity inspection of Gwent Police at any time.
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Notes to editors
- HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing and fire and rescue services in the public interest. It assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and fire and rescue services.
- HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also inspects all 45 fire and rescue services in England.
- HMICFRS is unable to make direct comparisons with the 2014 inspection due to a change in the methodology used. In particular, the 2014 inspection was a dip-sample of records in each force which contributed to a statistically robust rate for crime-recording accuracy for England and Wales, whereas this inspection is working to a statistically robust standard within each force.
- Further information on how Gwent Police is performing can be found on the HMICFRS online assessment tool.
- For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.