Gaps remain in Northumbria Police’s crime recording practices

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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in Northumbria Police, which found that the force records around 93 percent of crimes reported to it.

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Northumbria Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2016

HMIC previously inspected the accuracy of crime recording in Northumbria Police in 2014.

To assess the extent that recorded crime information in Northumbria Police can be trusted, HMIC asked:

  • How effective is the force at recording reported crime?
  • How efficiently do the systems and processes in the force support accurate crime-recording?
  • How well does the force demonstrate the leadership and culture necessary to meet the national standards for crime-recording?

Based on these criteria, overall HMIC has judged Northumbria Police as ‘requires improvement’.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said:

“While we found that Northumbria Police had made progress since our inspection in 2014, such as improving staff understanding of crime-recording, I have concerns that gaps remain in the force’s crime-recording arrangements, particularly in respect of the recording of some serious offences.

“Although the force records around ninety-three percent of the crime reports it receives, there are still too many reports of crime not being dealt with properly. We estimate that it fails to record 7,300 crimes each year, including serious offences such as violence and sexual offences including rape.

“These failings are due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the processes within the force are deficient, which leads to errors in how crimes are recorded. Secondly, we found that supervisors do not have the capacity to properly scrutinise incidents, so some crimes are being missed.

“I have made a number of recommendations to help the force achieve greater accuracy in recording crimes to keep people safe. I expect the force to make improvements in these areas, and am encouraged by the evident commitment from senior officers to improve. I will monitor the progress it makes.”

Get the report

Northumbria Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2016

Notes to editors

  1. HMIC is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing to promote improvements in policing that make everyone safer, and assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMIC inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. HMIC are unable to make direct comparisons with the 2014 inspection due to a change in the methodology used. In particular, the 2014 inspection was a dip-sample of records in each force which contributed to a statistically robust rate for crime-recording accuracy for England and Wales, whereas this inspection is working to a statistically robust standard within each force.
  2. Further information on how Northumbria Police is performing can be found on HMIC’s online assessment tool, at www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/peel-assessments/peel-2016/
  3. For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  4. HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.
  5. Follow HMIC on Twitter .

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