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Cause of concern

HMIC found that in many forces there is a material lack of focus, grip and effective activity directed to apprehending wanted suspects. There are too often inconsistencies and weaknesses in how rapidly forces circulate information about wanted suspects on the Police National Computer (PNC), and too often inadequate efforts are made to apprehend these individuals once the information has been circulated.


Immediately, all forces should review their current procedures for apprehending wanted suspects, assess the number of wanted suspects on the PNC and those whose details have yet to be circulated on the PNC, and take prompt and effective action to apprehend those suspects.

[on]3rd March 2017 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]4th April 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]4th April 2018 [comment]

Kent Police have been addressing this issue since our 2016 effectiveness inspection that noted that their performance in this area had worsened. In our 2017 effectiveness inspection we reported that:

A new process to better manage wanted persons has been introduced that seeks to ensure that those persons who are wanted for offences are subject to determined and continuous efforts to seek their earliest arrest. This process has also improved the speed by which wanted persons are circulated on the Police National Computer (PNC), and in July 2017, Kent Police had a 17.4 percent increase in the numbers of persons circulated on the PNC compared to the number in August 2016. This means that other police forces as well as Kent Police are able to help find or apprehend these people, and thereby reduce the risk to the public.

[/comment][/on][on]24th August 2018 [comment]

This recommendation will be subject to a final review during the force's Integrated Peel Inspection in early December 2018.

[/comment][/on][on]13th February 2019 [comment]

KNT has a clear policy as regards circulation of suspects. Red offenders (High risk)Amber (medium), Green (Standard). The RAG is based upon national risk assessment (severity of offence).

Wanted Persons Bureau has been established in Nov 2017 and is impacting upon the numbers of persons outstanding and speed of process.

This recommendation can be closed and will be monitored.

In our 2018 IPA inspection we reported the following:

'KNT actively and effectively pursues and manages offenders who are a risk to the public. It also understands and effectively uses post and pre-charge bail. The process of managing outstanding persons, locating and arresting them swiftly continues to improve across the force. The force pays close attention to the numbers of outstanding offenders and the speed with which they are being circulated and arrested. All three policing divisions hold a monthly performance review meeting. There is a daily ‘most-wanted’ offender who features on the briefing for the day so that all officers on duty are aware of that person. Proactive teams of officers are directed to locate and arrest outstanding offenders and the force also makes use of its community policing teams (CPT) in this work. The CPT officers’ local knowledge is such that they are an effective part of locating offenders who are difficult to locate'.

We also reported that:

'Kent Police has 2,759 people who are wanted for an offence(s) but who are not circulated on the police national computer (PNC), 2,686 have been wanted for between 0-6 months. This means the suspects may not be brought to justice as quickly as they might otherwise be. The force is aware of this problem, and they are working through the cases and circulating details of the suspects manually on the PNC if appropriate'.