09:05AM, Thursday 15 February 2018
A damning report has found Thames Valley Police is failing to record tens of thousands of reported crimes each year.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), released today (Thursday), found almost one in five crimes were not being properly recorded.
The watchdog estimates more than 35,200 reported crimes, including violent crime, rape, sexual offences, and domestic abuse are not recorded each year.
HMICFRS rated Thames Valley Police’s overall performance as ‘inadequate’, the lowest of four grades.
Based on the analysis of crime reports from February 1 to July 31, 2017, the study found that nearly one third of reported
violent crimes – more than 13,900 over the course of a year – were not being recorded.
One quarter of all sex offences, including rape, were not recorded within the required 24-hour period after they were reported.
The report said failure to properly record crimes resulted in no subsequent investigation being carried out, increasing the potential risk of harm to the victims.
It said this happened because frontline officers and supervisors have a poor understanding of how the crime reporting system works.
Other reasons include lack of supervision during the logging process, while crimes reported during incidents of domestic abuse were not always being recorded.
The report also found that officers do not always believe reports of crime from victims they think are suffering from mental health issues.
Thames Valley Police Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said: “This reports makes for unwelcome reading especially for a force that performs so well when measured in terms of our effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.
“We accept the findings of HMICFRS and will be working hard over the coming months to ensure that we address their concerns.
“The matters subject to review were recorded as ‘incidents’ rather than crimes, but there is no suggestion that we failed to respond appropriately to the calls or to deal with the matters in hand.
“I am pleased that HMICFRS confirmed that they found no issues of unethical behaviour and I can assure the communities of Thames Valley that every day, every officer is working hard to keep you safe from harm and to protect victims of crime.”
Matthew Barber, Thames Valley deputy police and crime commissioner, added: “I am disappointed with the findings of the TVP Crime Data Integrity report.
“It’s vital that victims feel assured that on reporting a crime, they will be supported appropriately.”
The serious causes for concern found during the inspection mean that HMICFRS will re-visit the force ‘in due course’ to assess progress.
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