The latest figures for the Northumbria Police region show victims are the most satisfied in the country in terms of service.
The User Satisfaction Survey, for the 12 months ending March 2015, found that 92.2 per cent of victims in Northumbria were satisfied with the service they received, placing Northumbria Police as the number one force in the country for victim service. Crime Survey England and Wales (CSEW) data for 12 months ending December 2014 also found that Northumbria Police has remained one of the country’s top forces for victim satisfaction.
The quarterly Crime Statistics, which give an overview of crime in England and Wales, show an increase in crime across 29 forces, Northumbria’s increase was four per cent. As part of a national drive to improve crime data integrity, there has been a considerable focus on improving the way in which crime is recorded and the administrative process that is followed. As such, crimes are now being recorded much more accurately.
Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “Year on year we are seeing broadly similar numbers of crime related incidents being reported to us. The percentage of these that are then recorded as crimes is increasing. Taken with a real drive to increase reporting of certain crimes such as sexual offences has led to an increase in overall recorded crime. We fully expect this to continue as we concentrate on improving the integrity of our crime recording processes.
“There have been increases in some categories, and we hope this means victims are feeling even more encouraged to come forward and report crimes to us. Our top priority remains putting victims first, recording crime accurately means they can have even more confidence to report matters with the reassurance they will be at the centre of everything we do and will receive the best possible service.
“Northumbria is an extremely safe area to live work and visit and our police officers and staff continue to work diligently to make sure it remains that way for all of our communities. We are extremely proud that our satisfaction levels remain the highest in the country.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “To be told we are offering victims of crime the best policing service in the country is something to be immensely proud of. Putting victims first is at the centre of everything we do when providing a police service and it’s vitally important for securing the right criminal justice outcomes and improving victim satisfaction.
“The increase in recorded crime will be to some extent due to improvements in recording practice, but we are proud of the increase where it shows traditionally under reported and hidden crimes such as sexual exploitation are now being reported because that shows we have built confidence that police will deal with these crimes well.
“The figures show increases in reported violence against the person which is of clear concern. However, reports of sexual offences have shown a large increase, and we are pleased about that. Every organisation working with those victims tell us that a fraction of them are willing to report and yet our numbers of such people reporting are going up strongly. We have had some high-profile campaigns, including Operation Sanctuary, operation Shelter and the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, all of which have increased confidence in reporting.
“We have a higher charge and caution rate than the national average, victims should feel assured that appropriate action will be taken.”