Northamptonshire Police has made improvements in its crime recording practices, finds Inspectorate
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) previously inspected the force’s crime recording arrangements in 2014. We issued the force with a list of recommendations for improvement.
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HMICFRS re-inspected the force between February and March 2020. It found that the force has implemented several processes to improve its crime recording arrangements. The force has also expanded and refined its training programme for officers and staff involved in crime recording decisions. As a result, the force now records around 92 percent of all crime reported to it – and our overall judgment is ‘Good’.
The inspection found the force had:
- provided improved training to new officers and staff;
- strong governance arrangements to make sure it maintains the improvements it has made to its crime recording accuracy; and
- completed most of the national and Northamptonshire -specific recommendations from our 2014 report
The force still needs to:
- make sure that initial crime recording decisions made by frontline staff are correct;
- clarify the roles and responsibilities for officers and staff involved in the crime-recording arrangements; and
- improve its recording of domestic abuse-related crimes.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:
“I would like to commend all police officers and staff in Northamptonshire Police for the really strong progress they have made in this area. Behind every crime is an offender who needs to be bought to justice, and a victim who needs support. Recording crimes correctly enables forces to protect those who are victims of crime and allows the force to plan for the demand it faces.
“Northamptonshire Police has made good progress in improving its crime recording since our 2014 inspection. We did find some areas for improvement, which I am pleased to say the force have already begun to address, and have made recommendations for the force to consider.
“We found that officers and staff have a strong commitment to getting this right. The people of Northamptonshire can be confident that if they report a crime, their force will take it seriously. Further improvements will only go to increase this public confidence.”
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- In March 2020 we suspended our inspection activity to enable forces and fire and rescue services to focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We deferred this report’s publication as part of this suspension. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor comments in detail on this as part of his annual assessment of policing, published on 2 July 2020. Our findings in this report are based upon evidence we collected before the pandemic was declared. Care should be taken if seeking to make links between our findings and police performance during the lockdown.
- 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.
- 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.