The North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner along with the Deputy Chief Constable have responded to HMIC report on crime-recording.
The report found that one in five, or 800,000 of all crimes reported to the police each year are not being recorded by officers.
North Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, said: Victims are at the centre of what we do, their needs come first and they must have the confidence to report crime to us.
Producing accurate records is very important, but what really matters is that victims of crime feel confident that they will be taken seriously when they report an incident, and that we will investigate every case fully and provide the necessary emotional and practical support.
We have made changes to the way we record crimes on our system, but we have not changed our fundamental policy, which is to investigate every crime that is reported to us. That is what we have always done, and what we will continue to do.
What we would like to stress is that even if a case had been deemed ‘no crime’, that does not mean that an investigation has not taken place and those involved offered the appropriate support.
The HMIC’s report also found that there was no evidence of any pressure to under-record or misclassify crimes or work outside National Crime Recording Standards.
We have implemented the vast majority of the HMIC’s recommendations from August 2014, and others are in progress. These include taking active steps to focus on victim needs by introducing the THRIVE model in our Force Control Room. This means we look at each crime from a victim’s perspective, and the possible threat, harm, risk and vulnerability, as well as the support that victims might need.
There is no room for complacency, but it is encouraging that we have recently seen an increase in the number of victims who are prepared to come forward and report domestic and sexual abuse to the North Yorkshire Police. This shows that some of the most vulnerable people do have confidence that we will investigate every case, and those who commit a criminal offence will be relentlessly pursued.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: It is good to have independent assessment that there are no questions of improper conduct at North Yorkshire Police, or in policing generally. However, HMIC have rightly identified the need for improvements to be made in the process of recording crime, which the force is responding to and I am monitoring closely. 84% of crimes being correctly recorded in North Yorkshire is not good enough, albeit it is better than most forces.
Accurate crime recording is particularly important as victims need to have absolute confidence that when they come forward, they will be responded to properly. In the case of some crimes, such as sexual and domestic abuse, it can be very difficult for victims to report what has happened.
I am therefore determined to see services to victims enhanced and there is still much more we can do to ensure people who report a crime get the help they need, as well as justice they deserve.
With that in mind, I have already increased support for victims of domestic and sexual abuse by 140%. Certainly, proper crime recording is extremely important, and the police must get that right. But policing is about more than the numbers. It is how we deal with people that matters. This is clearly also the public’s priority as they have firmly told me that supporting vulnerable people as their number one priority.