Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Adam Simmonds said he believes crime is recorded “correctly and ethically” despite a HMIC inspection report finding serious crimes are being recorded inaccurately.
A report published on Thursday by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has highlighted a number of failings in Northamptonshire Police’s recording of crime and stated the “central focus” of the force was on achieving reductions in crime rather than looking at the harm to victims and communities, which inaccurate recording could bring.
But, in response to the report, PCC Adam Simmonds said he would “continue to insist” that crime is recorded correctly and ethically in Northamptonshire.
Mr Simmonds said: “The accurate recording of crime is critical to understanding what’s going on in our communities and I will continue to insist that crime is recorded correctly and ethically in our county.
“This is vital, not only for the general public, but particularly for victims.
“The work being carried by the force, in line with the HMIC’s recommendations, is to be welcomed, and is part of an important cultural shift towards becoming more strongly victim focused.”
Responding to the report, Chief Constable Adrian Lee said it was crucial that crime was recorded “correctly and ethically” and for the public to have confidence that the force was improving its service to victims.
He said: “Since the HMIC inspection the force has implemented robust processes to ensure crimes are correctly recorded; our approach and auditing have changed substantially to address concerns and deficiencies. Processes have been implemented to ensure incidents are correctly classified and any reported crimes are recorded in line with the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR).
“The report included positive feedback about how we deal with out-of-court disposals and our compliance rate with national standards. Our training programmes and recent process improvements were well received.
“The public can be confident that we are improving our service to victims, and that the force treats every incident seriously and investigates every crime reported thoroughly.
“We know that what we are doing is working; serious violent crime has decreased in the county and the public can be confident that Northamptonshire is becoming safer. In addition, the latest independent data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales has shown a continuing downward trend in crime over the past 20 years.
Mr Lee said the police and crime commissioner was leading an initiative to improve the response to the victim’s voice, and said there was some “excellent, ground-breaking work” taking place across the force to reduce crime and keep communities safe.