Commissioner responds to HMIC crime recording report
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, has welcomed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) full report into Hertfordshire Constabulary’s crime recording procedures which has been published today (Thursday August 28).
The report is based on an inspection of the Force’s crime recording practices in March based on a limited number of incidents dealt with by the force during the period. Today’s report has given numerous recommendations for improvements by the force based on their findings from this sample.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “I welcome this report which gives an important snapshot of the effectiveness of police crime recording in Hertfordshire and recommendations for improvements. The findings are concerning but largely confirm and expand on the failings outlined in the interim HMIC report on crime recording released in April.
“Accurate crime recording is both vital to inform operational policing and vital to make sure that victims, who should be at the heart of the criminal justice system, have confidence in policing. In short, we need to make sure that Hertfordshire Constabulary is getting it right.
“Following the interim report, I asked the Chief Constable Andy Bliss to make changes and implement recommendations and this work is already being undertaken. This is a key role for Police and Crime Commissioners and I will ensure this is followed through. I have been monitoring the changes and their impact since April and will continue to do so.
“I have received personal reassurance from HMIC that there is no evidence of the deliberate manipulation of crime recording figures. Moreover, the report itself identifies instances where officers are motivated by protecting victims or vulnerable people where they have not recorded a crime.
“I also accept reassurance from the Constabulary that further work over a larger sample of records shows that on the vast majority of occasions police officers are getting it right by Home Office recording standards. Furthermore we should not lose sight of the fact that Hertfordshire is a safe place to live, work and visit, and the Constabulary is doing an excellent job of policing it, as previous HMIC reports have shown.
“While the report shows that clearly there have been some shortcomings in meeting Home Office standards, those shortcomings have been consistent over time and I am confident that the overall picture of generally falling levels of crime over recent years is accurate. This is borne out by the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales which shows that crime is at its lowest level since the survey began.”