Statement by Sir Thomas Winsor, HMCIC, in response to The Guardian comment piece published 6 July 2018

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor has issued a statement in response to a comment piece which appeared in The Guardian online edition on Friday 6 July 2018.

Mr Copson’s criticisms are misconceived because they have no factual basis.

The recommendation made in the inspectorate’s 2014 report was about – and explicitly limited to – the decision to record a crime and so start the investigation of an alleged crime.

At the time I said this, and I said it again in my last state of policing report:  “For the purely administrative act of recording a crime, what the complainant said should be assumed to be correct. The crime would be recorded, and that would trigger the obligation to investigate. Immediately after the crime has been recorded, investigators must proceed with an entirely open mind.  Those who are victims of crime, and those who say they are victims, are entitled to have their complaints taken seriously, and to have them properly investigated. In all cases, once the investigation has begun, the police must proceed promptly and find and evaluate the evidence.  What matters is that the police must proceed professionally and objectively, without bias, fear or favour. During an investigation, there is, and should be, no presumption of guilt on the part of the accused. Police officers have not been told to believe the complainant throughout the investigation.  They have only been required to record crime on an assumption of truth – an assumption which ends immediately after the crime record has been made and before the investigation has begun.”