Accuracy of Kent Police crime recording has slipped

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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in Kent Police, which found that the force records around 84 percent of crimes reported to it.

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Kent Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

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

To assess the extent that recorded crime information in Kent 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 Kent Police as ‘inadequate’.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:

“I am disappointed that the quality of crime recording in Kent Police has slipped significantly since we gave the force a clean bill of health three years ago. At the time of our most recent inspection, about 1 in 6 crimes in Kent were not making it onto the books – that equates to approximately 24,300 crimes a year. This means that on far too many occasions crimes are not being properly investigated and victims of crime are being failed.

“The force had taken its eye off the ball as a result of poor supervision of crime-recording decisions and inconsistencies in its own auditing system that
was giving it ‘false positive’ results. In other words, the force thought it was still doing the right thing whereas in reality its crime recording standards were slipping and this was not being detected though its own checking mechanisms.

“Too often the correct crime-recording decisions were not being made at the first opportunity. We found that some rapes and other sexual offences including domestic abuse crimes and crimes were being actively investigated but had not been properly recorded.

“Since our inspection in March 2017 I have been in close contact with Kent Police and I am encouraged by the immediate steps that the force has taken to rectify the situation. It has appointed a new head of crime recording and investigative standards, as well as increasing staff in its audit unit. I am told, by the force, that its levels of crime recording accuracy have been restored to close to those we found three years ago. HMIC will be returning to reinspect Kent Police in the near future to confirm, independently, that this is the case.”

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Kent Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017

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.
  2. 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.
  3. Further information on how Kent Police is performing can be found on HMIC’s online assessment tool.
  4. For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  5. HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.
  6. Follow HMIC on Twitter .

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