'Little evidence' of improvements in crime recording at West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police has made limited progress with improving its crime-recording standards since 2017, according to a report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

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West Midlands Police: Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2018

The inspectorate has determined that the force’s crime-recording arrangements are still inadequate, despite West Midlands Police’s efforts to develop a plan to improve its response to reports of crime. It cites training, supervision and auditing processes as some of the reasons behind the force’s low crime recording rates.

Inspectors commented that they were confident that West Midlands Police now had plans in place which should lead to sustainable improvements.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:

“I found little evidence of tangible improvements when we revisited West Midlands Police to look at their crime-recording arrangements. While the force had made some positive changes, they’ve had a limited impact so far.

“Unfortunately, we have a situation in the West Midlands where many violent crimes, including those related to domestic abuse, aren’t being recorded after they’ve been reported. We couldn’t find any clear evidence or explanation as to why. This is particularly concerning as it shows us that staff don’t yet understand basic crimerecording rules and procedures.

“West Midlands Police has stepped up its training provision to try and help its workforce get to grips with crime recording. But around a third of staff and officers haven’t taken the training on offer yet, and even those who have are sometimes unsure about how to deal with certain types of crime.

“These findings are very similar to what we saw in 2017, suggesting that the force has made little progress and that the pace of change has been too slow.

“Having said that, I recognise that the force has renewed its efforts since June 2018 and launched a revised improvement plan to get its crime-recording arrangements back on track. I am now confident that West Midlands Police has the right plans in place to address my concerns. I look forward to seeing significant improvements in the coming months, which will mean that people in the West Midlands are getting the best service possible from their local force.”

The report goes on to reaffirm HMICFRS’s commitment to monitoring West Midlands Police and its intention to re-inspect the force again to assess its progress against its improvement plan.

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West Midlands Police: Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2018

Notes to editors

  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Further information on how West Midlands Police is performing can be found on the HMICFRS online assessment tool.
  5. For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
  6. HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.