Essex Police’s crime recording arrangements graded ‘outstanding’ by Inspectorate

Essex Police’s crime recording practices have been graded as ‘outstanding’ by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). It is only the third force so far to have received this grade in HMICFRS’s rolling programme of crime data integrity inspections.

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Essex Police: Crime Data Integrity Inspection 2019

HMICFRS previously inspected crime recording in Essex Police in 2014 and carried out a follow-up inspection earlier this year. This inspection found that the force has one of the best recording rates in the country, with over 95 percent of all reported crimes being recorded. The Inspectorate praised a force-wide culture of crime recording, with a commitment to recording crimes accurately and putting victims first.

Today’s report, Essex Police: Crime Data Integrity Inspection 2019, identified the following achievements:

  • effective supervisory and governance procedures, including a comprehensive feedback system;
  • a dedicated force crime registrar team (which is managed by a fully accredited and trained registrar and deputy registrar);
  • implementation of all of HMICFRS’s 2014 recommendations, as well as a 2014 national action plan on crime recording; and
  • quick and effective quality assurance of crime recording decisions by the force’s national standards support and review team.

The Inspectorate noted, however, that there are still some concerns. Even with its impressive recording rate, the force still fails to record an estimated 6,700 crimes each year. In addition, it needs to improve how it collates and stores certain types of data (such as statistics on equality).

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:

“Accurate crime recording is crucial if a force is to be able to investigate crimes properly, bring perpetrators to justice and provide a good result for victims. That is why I am so delighted with the results of our most recent inspection into crime recording in Essex Police.

“We have inspected 39 forces so far during our crime data integrity inspection programme. Of these, Essex Police is one of only three to have been graded outstanding. This is a real achievement and one which is testament to the hard work of the force’s officers and staff.

“We identified many individual measures which have resulted in the force’s excellent recording rate, but what really came across during the inspection was the absolute commitment of officers and staff, at all levels, to record crimes in an accurate and timely manner. Residents of Essex can be confident that they are receiving an excellent service with regards to crime recording.”

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Essex Police: Crime Data Integrity Inspection 2019


  1. 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.
  2. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also publishes data and thematic reports on areas of particular interest.
  3. Since 2017, HMICFRS has taken on responsibility for inspecting all 45 fire and rescue services in England.
  4. Crime Data Integrity inspections assess an individual police force’s response to reports of crime by the public, and the effectiveness of that response. The inspection includes an audit, which examines the extent to which a force is applying the correct rules, as well as fieldwork.
  5. 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.
  6. For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
  7. HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.