1 in 8 Crimes Reported in North Yorkshire May Not Be Recorded
12:05am 1st May 2014
Around one in eight crimes reported to North Yorkshire Police may not be recorded as a crime when it should be, according to a random sample by the police watchdog.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) examined how thirteen police forces around the country, including North Yorkshire, record their crimes. North Yorkshire Police was examined in February by inspectors.
The watchdog says although the study is not large enough to be statistically significant on a county level, it is a random sample which can be brought together with other police forces to create an accurate national picture. Based on what it has found so far, HMIC says that nationally around one in five crimes may be going unrecorded.
In North Yorkshire, the sample found there were 64 incidents reported to police which should have been recorded as crimes. But HMIC found that only 56 were recorded as crimes, meaning around one in eight crimes in the county may not be recorded.
The study also looked at when police decide that crimes are not actually crimes, after investigating them following a first report of a crime. This is recorded by police forces as a "no-crime". The police watchdog examined 105 "no-crimes" and found 71 were correctly identified as not being a crime, but 34 which were classified as a "no-crime" should have still been left as a crime.
Again, when examining "no-crimes" the police watchdog emphasises that the figures are not statistically significant but are a snapshot of what could be happening at North Yorkshire Police.
FORCE DEFENDS "ROBUST AND ETHICAL SYSTEM"
North Yorkshire Police says it is waiting for a more detailed report about it's individual performance. But the force does say it operates a "robust and ethical system of crime recording". It adds that it continues "to invest in improving services for victims of crime."
In a statement, Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said:
“What is utmost for North Yorkshire Police is to put victims and their needs first. All reported incidents of crime are recorded on the force systems and as such it is important that the public are aware that any safeguarding, welfare and support needs are identified and managed as part of any investigation.
“We continue to invest in improving services for victims of crime, for example the excellent work undertaken by the Sexual Offences Reporting Centre (SARC) and the work to introduce THRIVE (Threat, Harm, Risk, Investigation, Vulnerability and Engagement) within our Force Control Room to respond to the specific needs of the individual and not necessarily crime categories or types.
“Both North Yorkshire Police and HMIC recognise that crime recording is best dealt with through a central point. The Force Control Room is the central point of contact and in common with the national report, HMIC recognised the skills, care and knowledge of NYP staff operating within this key area of business.
“We are awaiting the detailed report that is specific to North Yorkshire Police. However, we have already acted upon the initial feedback to ensure we continue to improve on the services we provide. It is important to note that victims of crime have independently demonstrated, via The British Crime Survey, that North Yorkshire Police provide one of the highest standards of service in the country.
“As with any guidance issued, there is always an element of professional judgement and interpretation required in reaching a decision. Over the last couple of years there have been some very encouraging HMIC reports on crime recording in North Yorkshire.
“The most recent report in 2014 has identified issues that have already been addressed and are subject to a National Crime Recording Standards Quality and Improvement Board chaired by the Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, which meets regularly to continually review current procedures and identify ways in which to improve standards.
“North Yorkshire Police operates a robust and ethical system of crime recording, which is subject to a high level of scrutiny to ensure it meets the standards set out by the Home Office.
“Internally, this consists of regular audits and dip-sampling of cases which are undertaken independently of operational policing activity by the Force Crime and Incident Registrar.
“This report and work undertaken by North Yorkshire Police in 2013, has lead to scrutiny and review by the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Joint Independent Audit Committee. We will build the findings into our existing change programme by investing in technology, further training with staff and improving our administrative processes in our desire to improve service provision to victims.”
COMMISSIONER ASKS FOR URGENT MEETING AFTER "CONCERN"
North Yorkshire's Police & Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, has asked for an urgent meeting with Chief Constable Dave Jones to discuss the report. In a statement Julia Mulligan said:
“The interim HMIC report gives me cause for concern. Ensuring we record crime properly is extremely important, not only for the general public, but particularly for victims.
“Behind every statistic in this report is an individual, a victim, and I have committed to supporting those people however I can. I am confident the same desire is at the heart of North Yorkshire Police, but there are clearly some questions which need to be answered.
“North Yorkshire Police are already taking steps to deal with some of the issues, as am I. For example, we are just about to launch a new, independent Out of Court Disposal Panel, to be chaired be a member of the public.
“I will be speaking to the Chief Constable urgently on this report, ensuring we are undertaking the necessary steps to resolve any under-recording of crime in North Yorkshire.”
|Get the latest local news direct to your inbox.
Sign up now for our email updates.