Inspectors praise police for standard of crime recording accuracy

Essex Police are among the best forces to so far be inspected for crime recording standards Picture

Essex Police are among the best forces to so far be inspected for crime recording standards Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Police have been praised for improving the way crimes are recorded in Essex – but inspectors have found room for more improvement – particularly among frontline officers.

Essex was only the third of 39 forces to be rated outstanding in the latest Crime Data Integrity inspection programme by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

Inspectors found substantial progress to achieve a high standard of crime recording accuracy since 2014, with victims at the forefront of arrangement

Essex Police recorded 95.8% of crimes reported from August 2018 to February 2019, according to HMICFRS, which said: "The force is determined to get crime recording right, to understand clearly how crime affects its communities and to respond appropriately to this demand.

"But the force understands there is still room for improvement and is committed to make those improvements. It recognises it still doesn't always make the correct crime recording decisions on the front line."

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The HMICFRS said Essex Police must improve officer and staff knowledge of stalking, harassment, and offences relating to indecent images, and improve collection of equality data and identify how to use it to better inform understanding and response to crime as it affects different communities.

Despite the high recording ratio, more than 6,700 crimes remained unrecorded, including 2,500 reports of violent crime.

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HMICFRS reviewed how four forces, Essex, West Mercia, North Yorkshire and Warwickshire, record crime data.

Essex Police's deputy chief constable Pippa Mills said: "We will build on this promising result and ensure that we do everything we can to protect victims by recording crimes accurately.

"I am really pleased that the vast majority of crimes recorded on our system are recorded correctly, and this is down to a great deal of hard work from both officers and police staff.

"Work is continuing to ensure we improve even further."

A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman said accurate recording can be influenced by many factors, which may not be clear at the start of investigations, but that it was working to further improve the accuracy of recording, which is governed by Home Office counting rules.

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