Leicestershire Police’s crime-recording progress a 'credit' to leadership, but more to be done
While inspectors found limited improvements at how Leicestershire Police records crime, a report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) concluded that the overall recording rate is too low.
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The report follows a previous crime data integrity inspection carried out in 2017, which found Leicestershire Police’s crime recording practices were among the worst in the country. Despite some improvement, HMICFRS has determined that the force’s performance is still ‘inadequate’.
However, the inspectorate estimates the force’s response to the 2017 report has resulted in Leicestershire Police recording an additional 8,300 crimes. It also noted that the force has vastly improved the amount of crimes it records within 24 hours, meaning that more victims can access vital support services more quickly.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:
“I was pleased to see that Leicestershire Police has made renewed efforts to do better at recording crimes reported to it. The force is committed to learning from its mistakes and has taken steps to address some of the problems we found in our last inspection. I am confident that the force is getting back on track and I am optimistic that further improvements will follow in the coming months.
“Leicestershire Police has recognised its old processes weren’t fit for purpose and has set up a new dedicated crime bureau. It’s still early days, but we found that the force has made great strides in improving how quickly it records crimes reported to it, with the vast majority recording within 24 hours. This means that victims of crime are getting better service from their local force, and have earlier access to vital victim support charities, like Leicestershire’s Victim First.
“However, I still found evidence that call handlers, response officers and supervisors are uncertain about when they need to record certain types of crime. Like other forces, officers at Leicestershire often have problems identifying more complicated crimes like malicious communications and harassment.
“I do recognise that there has been progress since our last inspection. The force has rolled out a crime recording training programme, and I welcome the introduction of better internal auditing processes. Individual officers will get much better feedback to help them understand where they’re going wrong and how to do better. But I remain concerned that there is some misunderstanding of the Home Office recording rules.
“It is a credit to the force’s leadership that Leicestershire Police has carried out four of the seven recommendations we made in our last report. The force is in a good position to pick up the pace and finish the job its started, so we can be sure that every reported offence will be recorded. I look forward to working closely with Leicestershire Police to make this happen.”
HMICFRS will continue to monitor Leicestershire Police and intends to re-inspect the force again to assess its progress against its implementation plan.
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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.
- 2. 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 Leicestershire 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.