Thames Valley Police shows improvements in how it records crime
Thames Valley Police records crime more accurately than it did two years ago, according to a new report. However, multiple problems still mean that the overall recording rate is too low.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2019 report graded the force as ‘inadequate’. Whilst this is the same grade as a previous inspection in 2017, the Inspectorate found that the force has implemented a variety of improvements, resulting in a greater level of accuracy, over the past two years. The force now records an additional 13,800 crimes compared to the period audited during the 2017 inspection. Its crime recording accuracy rate is now 87.9% compared to 80.4% in 2017.
Specific improvements have included:
- a significant increase in how often it records crime at the first point of contact;
- the development and implementation of a CDI plan; and
- the provision of comprehensive crime recording training to its call handlers.
However, the inspection highlighted the following problems, some of which have not improved since the 2017 inspection:
- frontline officers, including supervisors, had a poor understanding of the force’s crime-recording system;
- staff did not have a sufficient understanding of National Crime Recording Standards, and have not received crime-recording training; and
- domestic abuse and rape crimes were too often incorrectly identified and recorded.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:
“Crime recording is not just a statistical exercise – it really matters to maximise the chances that crimes will be investigated properly and that victims will get the justice they deserve.
“Thames Valley Police has made great strides since our previous inspection, which was carried out in 2017. More crimes are being accurately recorded, meaning that more victims will get the justice they deserve. Refinements to its crime recording processes, and an emphasis on training and development, have contributed to an increased recording rate. This means that a greater number of victims in the local area can be confident that their crime will be recorded and investigated properly.
“As our report notes, however, there are still many problems. Particularly, there remains a lack of knowledge about crime recording standards and systems amongst many officers and staff. Supervision is also inconsistent. It is disappointing that these issues have not been remedied since our last inspection.
“Having said that, we are encouraged by the improvements we saw. Whilst there is still a way to go, the force is on the right track.”
HMICFRS will continue to inspect crime recording practices in Thames Valley Police at regular intervals.
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- 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.
- HMICFRS inspects all 45 fire and rescue services in England. It also inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also publishes data and thematic reports on areas of particular interest.
- 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.