Gloucestershire Constabulary fails to record almost 8,000 crimes a year, warns report
Gloucestershire Constabulary’s crime recording arrangements are too often failing vulnerable victims of crime according to a new report.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)’s Crime Data Integrity inspection 2019 report graded the force as ‘inadequate’, saying it under-recorded too many reports of crime.
The inspection found for Gloucestershire Constabulary:
- 81.6% of reported crimes were recorded, which HMICFRS estimated meant the force was not recording more than 7,900 reports of crime each year;
- only 69.2% of reported violent crimes were recorded, which HMICFRS estimated meant the force was not recording more than 4,200 reports of violent crime each year;
- the force does not always record crimes that occur during domestic abuse incidents;
- some staff have received no crime-recording training; and
- delays in recording reported crimes led to delays in referring victims to Victim Support, letting down people who need the early support those services can provide.
The report also contained several areas for improvement, including recommending that the force immediately:
- <>liimproves how it collects diversity information from victims of crime and reviews how it uses this to inform compliance with its equality duty;
- puts in place arrangements to improve the process for informing victims when their recorded crime has been cancelled; and
- develops and implements an effective feedback process for all officers and staff involved in making crime-recording decisions.
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. 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 crime-recording 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 also impressed with the force’s Initial Investigations Team, which should provide a firm platform for improving the service to victims of crime.
“We hope that this report will act as a catalyst for improvement in how the force records crime.”
HMICFRS will continue to inspect crime recording practices in Gloucestershire Constabulary at regular intervals.
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- 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 45 fire and rescue services in England. It also 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted 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.