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Suffolk Constabulary recording of reported crime 'inadequate says MH Inspector

January 12, 2020 4:00 PM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

police tapeAn estimated 5,300 reports of crime in Suffolk go unrecorded each year.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has said that issues that they had identified five years ago in 2014 with Suffolk Constabluary's understanding of crime recording rules had still not been fully addressed.

Inspectors said the Suffolk force required improvement overall and said that a 91% rate for recording reported crime was 'inadequate'. - equating to 5,300 total crimes and 3,600 violent crime going unrecorded. Of 1,203 audited crime reports, 373 were domestic abuse related - 74 of which went unrecorded, including 66 violent crimes.

The report stressed that despite improvements the force is still not recording enough reports of crime, and its overall grading is 'Requires Improvement'.

It highlighted concerns around most stages of the recording process, including:

  • limited supervision of crime recording decisions;

  • failure to record all reports, as appropriate, within 24 hours;

  • not appropriately recording reports of crimes received from third parties; and

  • failure to collect enough diversity information.

HM Inspector for Suffolk Zoë Billingham said, "Accurate and timely crime recording is important because it allows the police to properly investigate an incident, and it builds public confidence in the police service.

In many cases victims had been deprived of services and offenders had not been brought to justice. inspectors found reports went unrecorded because officers and staff did not fully understand changes to requirements for crimes like coercive control, or did not follow rules for recording non-injury assaults or reports from third party professionals. Officers did not always record a proper explanation for not recording a crime; did not record the crime when victims chose not to support investigation, or counted only one crime from records containing multiple reports - for example, several malicious communications amounting to a course of harassment.

HM Inspector however said police were effective in ensuring correct decisions were made to cancel crimes and had one of the best sex offence recording rates and said staff had a good understanding of modern slavery. Chief officers had consistently expressed the importance of proper recording, and its impact on victims, to the rest of the organisation.

Suffolk PCC logoSuffolk's Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, whose second and final term of office concludes in May is quoted as saying he 'knew the force was committed to making these improvements and that he would continue to monitor progress on behalf of Suffolk residents'.

1069 Crimes recorded In East Suffolk area in November 2019

89 crimes were recorded in the Beccles & Bungay neighbourhood.

127 crimes were recorded in the Felixstowe neighbourhood.

53 crimes were recorded in the Halesworth neighbourhood incl Southwold

27 crimes were recorded in the Kesgrave part of the East Ipswich crime neighbourhood figures.

100 crimes were recorded in the Leiston/Saxmundham/Framlingham neighbourhood.

530 crimes were recorded in the Lowestoft neighbourhood.

143 crimes were recorded in the Woodbridge neighbourhood.

Sources: Sufolk HMI -inspectors Report

Ipswich Star- 7 January, 2020 Police pledge after data inspection finds crime reports go unrecorded Tom Potter tom.potter@archant.co.uk