GWENT Police said recent investment in staff training has helped the force build a more effective system for correctly recording crimes.

An investigation by the BBC's shared data unit compared inspection reports for 43 police forces across Wales and England.

Gwent Police fared better than many other forces when deciding to 'cancel' reported crimes, the investigation found.

A crime can be 'cancelled' by police if further evidence or information shows no offence took place.


Crimes can also be 'cancelled' if they are transferred to another police force, if the same reported incident has been filed more than once, if a crime was recorded in error, or if self-defence was claimed.

In Gwent, data shows the force incorrectly cancelled five out of 20 reports of violent offences, three out of 19 reports of sexual offences, and one out of six reports of robbery.

The force also failed to notify two out of 36 reported victims that their 'crime' had been cancelled, the data found, and there were no reports of rape cancelled incorrectly.

The BBC data used Gwent Police's most recent Crime Data Integrity inspection report, from 2018, in which inspectors said the force had "made a concerted effort to record crime more accurately" since the previous inspection in 2014.

Detective Chief Superintendent Nicola Brain, of Gwent Police, said the new investigation "illustrates the extensive measure introduced by the organisation to provide an effective service to all our communities".

She added: “We’re committed to ensuring robust processes and data integrity when dealing with reports of crime.

“In recent years we’ve invested heavily to train staff and provide learning, this has delivered a service that puts victims first and confidence across our communities.”

Across Wales and England, the BBC investigation found at least 19 police forces had incorrectly cancelled reports of rape, 38 forces had incorrectly cancelled at least one report of a sexual offence, 37 forces had incorrectly cancelled reports of violent crime, and 28 had incorrectly cancelled reports of robbery.

It also found 30 forces had failed to inform victims of the decision to cancel crimes.

Commenting on the national figures, Rape Crisis spokeswoman Katie Russell said "systemic change" was "desperately needed".

She added: “Wide disparities between the way different police force areas handle rape and sexual offences, and the premature and inappropriate dropping of investigations into these extremely serious crimes, have long been issues of concern."

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs' Council said further improvements were being made.

"Our priority is to ensure that victims have the confidence to report crimes, safe in the knowledge that they will be fully investigated and that they will receive appropriate support and information," he said.

"We are working to further improve the accuracy of crime reporting, which is governed by detailed counting rules set out by the Home Office."