APCC response to HMIC Crime Data Integrity report


Responding to the release of the HMIC report on Crime Data Integrity, Sussex PCC and Chair of the APCC Performance, Standards and Accountability Standing Group, Katy Bourne said:

“The public in England and Wales quite rightly expect their local police force to ensure that officers use integrity, sensitivity and comprehensive up-to-date knowledge when recording reports of crime.

“Today’s HMIC report shows that in too many cases, and for a variety of reasons, inaccurate recording of crime is letting down victims, making inefficient use of scarce police resources, and in some cases leading to serious crimes not being reported at all. Under-reporting of the scale revealed by this HMIC report – 800,000 crimes overall and most worryingly 26% of sexual offences – means there are far too many victims with no resolution and the risk that many offenders walk free. Victims may not even realise a decision to cancel or ‘no crime’ a reported crime could mean that no further action will be taken.

“Whilst there may be understandable operational restraints, targets and even good intentions that have driven imperfect crime recording, it is now recognised that getting crime data integrity right – first time – is essential to develop trust in the system, to provide a professional and sympathetic service to victims and to create the best possible foundations for each case to allow officers to pursue and prosecute criminals.

“It works best where accurate and timely crime recording is considered an essential and beneficial part of investigations and not a bureaucratic afterthought.

“The picture may differ from force to force, but the HMIC report highlights that some of the underlying causes may be structural as well as behavioural. Emerging best practice shows that we need a 21st century framework for crime recording that keeps up with evolving and complex crime-and with public expectation. It needs to be easier to understand, easier to use and adaptable.

“We need to openly identify and acknowledge the pressures that may have led to past poor recording. On behalf of the public, Police and Crime Commissioners can ensure that tighter policing budgets will not lead to light touch recording and the potential for grave mistakes.

“PCCs are the prism for public confidence and trust in policing and we have been working together as a group and within our own forces to translate public expectation into better performance and enable a culture shift.

“We are really pleased to see the HMIC report recognise that some forces have whole heartedly embraced ethical and accurate crime data recording. By re-engineering the way information is managed and supported with first rate training, these police forces have been able to reduce errors and ensure the accuracy and timeliness of investigations.

“PCCs are committed to supporting policing excellence, and will continually drive improvement and to hold the police to account on behalf of the public.”



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