Inspectors question crime recording

Northamptonshire Police logo
Northamptonshire Police logo

Serious concerns about the way in which Northamptonshire Police records crime were raised in a report published last Thursday.

Police watchdog HMIC drew together evidence from its annual all-force inspections to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of local police forces under the new PEEL assessment.

The report found Northamptonshire Police was good at reducing crime, preventing offending and tackling anti-social behaviour, as well as remaining on track to achieve £23 million of savings by 2018.

However, Zoë Billingham, inspector at HMIC, said she had ‘some serious concerns’ about the recording of crime. The report states: “A notable proportion of reports of crime are not being recorded, and this means that victims of crime are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime.”

The report also raises concerns about the accuracy of decisions taken by officers to cancel a recorded crime, as some decisions were found to be invalid. Chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, Adrian Lee said he was pleased HMIC had recognised the force’s efficiency and work to prevent crime, support victims and tackle antisocial behaviour. He said: “There is, however, no room for complacency and there remain areas where improvement is needed, such as crime recording and our response to domestic abuse incidents.

“But real identifiable progress is being made in those areas since we were last subject to specific inspections on them.”