Police inspectorate praises Kent Police for its 'outstanding' crime-recording

Kent Police’s crime-recording arrangements have improved dramatically since June 2017, according to a report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

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Kent Police: Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2018

The force’s approach to crime recording had previously been graded as ‘inadequate’, but inspectors have now judged that Kent Police is ‘outstanding’ in how it records reports of offences.

The inspectorate found that Kent Police had made excellent progress in how it records incidents involving violent crimes and serious sexual offences. As a result, it estimates that the force is recording an additional 25,400 crimes a year, substantially improving its understanding of local demand.

The report sets out two areas for further improvement but concludes that strong leadership from Kent Police’s senior team has resulted in a cultural shift in the workforce’s approach to crime recording.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:

“I am delighted to say that Kent Police is back on form with an overall outstanding grade for how it records crime. An earlier crime-recording inspection showed that there was significant room for improvement in this area. But this revisit has shown us that the force really has gone above and beyond to fix the problems we found. To go from inadequate to outstanding is proof that a force can really excel with the right focus and some hard graft.

“This is a notable achievement and I congratulate the force for turning a weakness into a real strength. We’ve seen improvements across the board in its recording rate for violent crime, sexual offences and its overall crime-recording rate. This means that the force has a much clearer understanding of the extent and nature of crime in Kent.

“What I found on this revisit is that Kent Police is a force committed to doing its absolute best wherever it can. The force has introduced an excellent crime-recording training package and leaders have stepped up the level of supervision they have over crime-recording decisions. Officers can expect to get genuinely constructive feedback, so they know what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. There is no room for confusion about what they need to do to meet the force’s high crime-recording standards.

“That is why I am confident that Kent Police will address our last few concerns without any trouble at all. We found that it still needs to make sure that all reports from third parties make it onto the books and that all crimes are recorded within 24 hours of reporting.

“That aside, I am impressed by what Kent Police has achieved. The people of Kent can rest assured that when they report a crime, their local force will record it quickly and accurately. This opens up access to vital support services that victims of crime may need to help them through a difficult time. The force should take pride in its outstanding grade and remember that good crime recording makes a real difference to victims of crime.”

HMICFRS will continue to monitor the force’s progress; as with all police forces, Kent Police may be subject to a further unannounced crime data integrity inspection at any time.

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Kent 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 Kent 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.