Hertfordshire Constabulary has further work to do to ensure it records all reports of crime

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in Hertfordshire Constabulary, which found that good progress is being made to address under-recording of crime, but more work remains to be done.

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Hertfordshire Constabulary: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

HMICFRS previously inspected the accuracy of crime recording in Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2014.

To assess the extent that recorded crime information in Hertfordshire Constabulary can be trusted, HMICFRS asked:

  • How effective is the constabulary at recording reported crime?
  • How efficiently do the systems and processes in the constabulary support accurate crime recording?
  • How well does the constabulary demonstrate the leadership and culture necessary to meet the national standards for crime recording?

Based on these criteria, overall HMICFRS has judged Hertfordshire Constabulary as ‘requires improvement’.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:

“It is very clear to me that Hertfordshire Constabulary has made a concerted effort to improve crime-recording accuracy since HMICFRS’ inspection in 2014.

“I am particularly impressed with the outstanding leadership shown by senior officers in the force, setting clear expectations to improve service to victims. The recording rate for reported sex offences is one of the highest we have seen to date, and our assessment is that officers are generally effective in safeguarding vulnerable victims reporting domestic abuse.

“However, the force recognises that it is on a journey and that it still has more to do in terms of its overall accuracy of recording crimes. At the time of our inspection it was accurately recording about 87% of all crime reported to it – which means that more than 1 in 10 crimes were not making it onto the books. The force recognises the importance of continued improvement. Given the focus and commitment displayed by the force leadership, police officers and staff, I am confident that further improvement will follow.

“We found that officers and staff do not always understand their responsibilities for crime-recording, and sometimes they do not make correct crime-recording decisions at the first opportunity.

“I am encouraged that Hertfordshire Constabulary has made progress in its crime-recording processes since 2014, and continues to work on further improvements. The force has a good awareness of the issues highlighted by this report, and recognises that it needs to continue to focus on this important area.”

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Hertfordshire Constabulary: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

Notes to editors

  1. HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing to promote improvements in policing that make everyone safer, and assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence.
  2. On 19 July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
  3. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies.
  4. HMICFRS are 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.
  5. Further information on how Hertfordshire Constabulary is performing can be found on the HMICFRS online assessment tool.
  6. For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  7. HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.