Police defends crime recording

In a week where shocking figures have revealed that one in five crimes reported to police may go unrecorded the Sussex force has defended its record.

The findings by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary have been condemned by the Home Secretary and described as ‘indefensible’ and ‘inexcusably poor’.

The picture was worse for sexual offences with a quarter of these crimes unrecorded, including 37 rapes.

Failing to record a crime as a crime has serious consequences because it means it is unlikely to be investigated, with offenders unpunished and victims let down.

Yet Sussex Police says it ‘welcomes’ the report despite having recording standards of 83 percent of reported crime - well behind the top forces in the country which were all in the 90s.

West Midlands was top with 99 per cent and Lincolnshire next with 98 per cent. The worst force in the country was Hampshire (60 per cent).

Sussex Police has said its figure has now increased to nearly 97 per cent following action to raise the standards of crime and incident reporting.

Deputy chief constable Olivia Pinkney said: “We take the findings of the audit extremely seriously and are determined to do everything possible to ensure crimes are recorded accurately. Before I had this report we had carried out a full internal review and discovered there was quite a lack of understanding among our staff of some of the crime recording rules. As a result of that review we have put in place a very comprehensive plan to raise the general standard of crime and incident recording. Our own audit process shows that there have been considerable improvements in the overall level of compliance with the standards, which now make us sit just short of 97 per cent compliance. Ethical and accurate crime recording is of primary importance, not just to see how we can be held accountable for the effectiveness of our crime-fighting capability but also to enable the efficient tasking and co-ordinating of resources to prevent crime.”