Police crime recording method 'flawed' - Newport MP

South Wales Argus: File pics of Dyfed-Powys police officer
PICTURE: Western Telegraph
 (1595244) File pics of Dyfed-Powys police officer PICTURE: Western Telegraph (1595244)

NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn is among a group of MPs who have slammed police crime recording as a “flawed leadership model” in a damning report.

The report, ‘Caught Red-handed: Why we can’t count on police recorded crime statistics’ follows an investigation by a public administration committee, on which the Newport West MP sits.

Also highlighted in the report is the wide disparities in the no-crime rates for reports of rape with Gwent Police force featuring seventh highest in the list of forces for their no-crime rate for reported rape incidents.

Mr Flynn said the report aimed to get the “truth”. He said: “Vital decisions are taken on the basis of these statistics. We want to see a system we can all rely on.

“We are critical of everyone, The Met, police forces and the ONS.”

The committee is concerned with the target-driven method of recording crime and more seriously the misrecording of crime, especially with regard to sexual crimes in many areas including Gwent.

The report says: “Senior police leaders must ensure emphasis is placed on data integrity and accuracy, not on the achievement of targets. We regard such practise as a flawed leadership model.”

The report also states: “Any instance of deliberate misrecording of sexual offences is deplorable, but especially so if this has been brought about by means of improperly persuading or pressurising victims into withdrawing or downgrading their report.

“The disparities between different police forces in the 'no-crime rates' for rapes and sexual offences are sufficient in our view to raise serious concerns about the varying approaches taken by police forces to recording and investigating these horrendous crimes.”

The report urges the Home Office to analyse the disparities within two months.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: “Gwent Police operates a victim focused system where reports of rape are quickly recorded. An investigation is then commenced. For varying reasons some of the cases are found to be unfounded or incorrect.

“A recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) review looked at every reported rape which was subsequently classed as a ‘no crime’ during the last year and agreed the classification was both appropriate and correct.

“There is a recognised lack of consistency in the approach different forces take to crime recording, which means there will inevitably be divergences in ‘No crime’ rates across the country and the service is currently working to resolve this issue.”

Comments (3)

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6:48pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Abertillery29 says...

Another 'no news' story. Crime figures have been 'fiddled' under Labour and Conservative governements to my personal knowledge for well over 45 years. Mr Flynn again jumps on the 'band wagon'. If I remember correctly it was Labour who introduced the 'tick the box mentalty'. The Home Office chose to put 'muppet' Chief Constables in place who did exactly what they were told in the recording of crime. Then a buch of MPs come along and say you really shouldn't have listened to us we were only joking. We can't rely on any organisation to tell us the truth.
Another 'no news' story. Crime figures have been 'fiddled' under Labour and Conservative governements to my personal knowledge for well over 45 years. Mr Flynn again jumps on the 'band wagon'. If I remember correctly it was Labour who introduced the 'tick the box mentalty'. The Home Office chose to put 'muppet' Chief Constables in place who did exactly what they were told in the recording of crime. Then a buch of MPs come along and say you really shouldn't have listened to us we were only joking. We can't rely on any organisation to tell us the truth. Abertillery29
  • Score: 11

7:17pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

.....one day politians and senior managers will learn that performance measures do not work....as human nature...not enough time to do the job etc etc will drive individuals to cut corners or falsify things in order to meet the targets......especia
lly when performance related pay is involved....
.....one day politians and senior managers will learn that performance measures do not work....as human nature...not enough time to do the job etc etc will drive individuals to cut corners or falsify things in order to meet the targets......especia lly when performance related pay is involved.... Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: 8

2:41am Thu 10 Apr 14

Ian (Mac) MacKinlay says...

I am afraid that all this report does is to show up how out of touch with reality politicians are themselves.

Completely useless.

I'd like to see how they would feel if stupid box-ticking practices were introduced into Parliament to measure how good or bad, efficient or useless, they were themselves as Members of Parliament.
I am afraid that all this report does is to show up how out of touch with reality politicians are themselves. Completely useless. I'd like to see how they would feel if stupid box-ticking practices were introduced into Parliament to measure how good or bad, efficient or useless, they were themselves as Members of Parliament. Ian (Mac) MacKinlay
  • Score: 5

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