Herts police ‘fails to record 11,200 reported crimes each year’, HMIC report estimates

Herts police failed to record more than 11,200 reported crimes last year, according to an inspector'

Herts police failed to record more than 11,200 reported crimes last year, according to an inspector's estimate in a new report. - Credit: Archant

Herts police fails to record more than 11,200 reported crimes each year, including cases involving violence and domestic abuse – that’s according to an estimate from inspectors in a new report.

Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall. - Credit: Archant

The force is accused of “failing” many victims in the report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, focusing on crime data integrity.

More than 70 sexual offences reported to Herts police last year were not recorded, including “a small number” of reported sexual assaults and an allegation of a child being incited to engage in sexual activity over social media.

The recording rate for violent crime was highlighted as a “particular cause of concern” at 84.8 per cent, with some officers and staff having “insufficient understanding of the crime-recording requirements, compounded by limited supervision to correct decisions at the earliest opportunity”.

That notwithstanding, the report’s author, inspector of constabulary Zoë Billingham, said it was clear to her that the Herts force had made “a concerted effort” to improve crime-recording accuracy since the last inspection in 2014.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham. - Credit: Archant

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She said: “I am particularly impressed with the outstanding leadership shown by senior officers in the force, setting clear expectations to improve service to victims. The recording rate for reported sex offences is one of the highest we have seen to date, and our assessment is that officers are generally effective in safeguarding vulnerable victims reporting domestic abuse.

“However, the force recognises it is on a journey and that it still has more to do in terms of its overall accuracy of recording crimes. At the time of our inspection it was accurately recording about 87 per cent of all crime reported to it – which means that more than one in 10 crimes were not making it onto the books.

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“The force recognises the importance of continued improvement. Given the focus and commitment displayed by the force leadership, police officers and staff, I am confident that further improvement will follow.”

The report gave Herts police an overall ‘requires improvement’ rating for recording crime data.

Its leadership and culture regarding crime-recording received the highest rating of ‘outstanding’, with the report noting that all recommendations from the 2014 report had been implemented.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “I am pleased that the report highlighted the clear improvements that have been made and our focus on improving services to victims and effectiveness in safeguarding those who are most vulnerable.

“We will continue to work towards further strict compliance with the crime recording rules.”

You can read the report in full at justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/hertfordshire-crime-data-integrity-inspection-2017.

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