Norfolk police taking steps to improve crime recording as report raises concern

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Pic submitted. Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Pic submitted.

Peter Walsh Crime correspondent
Thursday, May 1, 2014
6:45 AM

A police watchdog has raised “serious concerns” that crimes are not being recorded properly, with Norfolk one of 13 forces where inspectors have found problems.

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An interim report on crime data by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which has to date inspected 13 forces including Norfolk, has found weak or absent management and supervision of crime recording, significant under-recording of crime, serious sexual offences not being recorded, and some offenders issued with out-of-court disposals when their offending history could not justify it.

As part of the inspection an audit was carried out on a sample of incident reports which were assessed to determine if the matter reported required the recording of a crime and if so whether a crime was recorded. Norfolk was found to have recorded 63 crimes when 74 should have been.

Inspectors also looked at recorded crime that is “no-crimed” and found that of the 64 no-crimes reviewed Norfolk had made the correct decision in 58 of the cases.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “While we have always sought to achieve compliance with national crime recording standards, it is clear from the interim report that, in common with all forces, there is more we need to do.

“We have already started taking steps to improve this position and, as a result, are now achieving a much greater compliance rate. This work will continue.”

He added: “Consistency in crime recording is important as is the delivery of a professional, effective and supportive service to all victims of crime. We will continue to work hard to improve our crime recording compliance rates while also maintaining the high quality off service that our victims recognise.”

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, said: “Although this is an interim report, and we have identified common strengths, we are seriously concerned at the picture which is emerging.”

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