Suffolk: Police crime figures to be investigated by police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore after nationwide ‘fiddling’ claims
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has pledged to ensure crime figures are “recorded appropriately” after MPs were told they are routinely “fiddled” at forces.
Retired and serving police officers told MPs at a Commons Public Administration Select Committee that the techniques to disguise the true extent of offending were known by senior officers and were common knowledge at every level of every police force in England and Wales.
MPs heard on Monday that crime figures are routinely “fiddled” to meet targets and make the performance of forces look better.
In April, Suffolk Constabulary said crime fell for the seventh consecutive year, with 40,009 crimes in 2012/13, 5,632 fewer crimes than the previous year.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s PCC, promised to seek reassurances from the force that their crime figures were legitimate and accurate.
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“It is extremely important that victims report all crime to the police and it is equally important that police officers categorise and record these crimes accurately,” he said.
“Transparent and accurate recording is the only way that we can effectively monitor levels of crime, both here in Suffolk and as a comparison with other forces across the country.
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“In view of this report, I will be raising this issue with the Chief Constable at my next Accountability and Performance Panel meeting so I, and the people of Suffolk, can be assured that crime in Suffolk is being recorded appropriately.”
Forces are able to ‘no crime’ offences when it is recorded in error or where additional verifiable information determines that no criminal offence has been committed.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said the force “prides itself on having a transparent approach to recording crime”.
“All crimes are recorded in accordance with Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crimes,” she said.
“In addition Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) annually carries out a robust audit of each force’s recording procedures and crime statistics to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the crime recording processes that are in place.
“The most recent review carried out by HMIC indicated that crimes in Suffolk are generally recorded accurately and in accordance with the National Crime Recording Standard.
“The review also found that Suffolk Constabulary has very good incident and crime recording systems, with effective internal checks to ensure these are maintained to a high standard.”