Northumbria Police have been told it must improve after new figures show more than 7,300 crimes reported last year – including violence and rape – were never even recorded.
Figures published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) show major gaps remain in the force’s crime recording practices.
We estimate that it fails to record 7,300 crimes each year, including serious offences such as violence and sexual offences including rapeHM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham
The statistics show around 93 percent of crimes reported are recorded by Northumbria Police.
HMIC previously inspected the accuracy of crime recording in the force 2014.
The inspectorate looked at how effective the force is at recording reported crime, along with the efficiency of crime recording systems and processes.
Inspectors also examined leadership and culture necessary to meet the national standards for crime-recording, and based on the criteria have judged Northumbria Police as ‘requires improvement’.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “While we found that Northumbria Police had made progress since our inspection in 2014, such as improving staff understanding of crime-recording, I have concerns that gaps remain in the force’s crime-recording arrangements, particularly in respect of the recording of some serious offences.
“Although the force records around ninety-three percent of the crime reports it receives, there are still too many reports of crime not being dealt with properly.
“We estimate that it fails to record 7,300 crimes each year, including serious offences such as violence and sexual offences including rape.
“These failings are due to a combination of factors.
“Firstly, the processes within the force are deficient, which leads to errors in how crimes are recorded.
“Secondly, we found that supervisors do not have the capacity to properly scrutinise incidents, so some crimes are being missed.
“I have made a number of recommendations to help the force achieve greater accuracy in recording crimes to keep people safe.
“I expect the force to make improvements in these areas, and am encouraged by the evident commitment from senior officers to improve.
“I will monitor the progress it makes.”
Northumbria Police Deputy Chief Constable Winton Keenan said: “Northumbria Police takes the accurate recording of crime very seriously and it is reassuring to see that this has been recognised by the HMIC in their inspection.
“The force has made significant improvements in accurately recording crimes since the last inspection carried out by HMIC in 2014, resulting in an increase from 72% to 93% compliance for the recording of all crimes.
“Despite the improvements we have made we recognise there is still more work to be done and this too has been highlighted by HMIC.
“In keeping with the findings in this report we are already working on further improvements to our systems and processes so that we can ensure that we get it right first time.
“These further improvements are intended to take us to the highest levels of compliance with the national standards for crime recording and will be delivered with the same commitment and determination that HMIC have commented on in their report.
“As we continue to make improvements to become more compliant with crime recording standards we are likely to see an increased level of recorded crime across the force area.
“As such, the communities of Northumbria should be reassured that our area remains one of the safest places to live in the country and actual incidents of household and personal crimes continue to fall.
“This is why our residents and the wider community feel confident in reporting crime to us and are part of the reason we continue to have the highest level of satisfaction than any other force in the country.”