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“Leadership of senior officers vital to create crime stats trust”

PFEW HQOfficers’ workloads must be properly managed if the service is to rebuild public trust in crime statistics, the Police Federation has warned.

Paul Ford, secretary of the Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum, said: “It is vital that we put victims and the community at the heart of policing and forces must move away from the unhealthy target culture still prevalent across the service – policing is about people and we must never forget this.

“As the recent HMIC report on domestic abuse showed, support and leadership from those at the top of policing is vital if officers are to deliver the top quality service both they and the public want.”

An interim HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report published on May 1, which looked into crime recording practices in 13 forces – not including West Yorkshire Police – found that 20 per cent of crime could be going unrecorded.

The report also found that some serious sexual offences were not recorded, that some offenders were inappropriately issued with out of court disposals and criticised the supervision of crime recording.

HMIC is to publish a full report into crime recording, after inspecting the 30 remaining forces, this October.

Mr Ford added: “As the report states, forces must ensure that officers have both the proper training and appropriate workloads to be able to fully manage the crime-recording process.

“There are 16,000 fewer police officers and tens of thousands fewer police staff than before the budget cuts began to bite. Frontline colleagues, supervisors and leaders are struggling to cope. Too often, officers are overloaded with cases and this affects the service they are able to offer the public.

“We must put in place robust crime recording mechanisms focused on victims which outline a clear distinction between recording standards and charging standards. These must be applied nationally for consistency and must include balanced audits, inspections and external scrutinising of forces.

“Whilst it is important to recognise that the vast majority of crime is recorded correctly, there must be a move away from the current over-reliance on crime stats as the main gauge of policing effectiveness.

“The Police Federation will continue to work with HMIC to establish recording processes that build confidence. This will ensure we provide the public with a service that they deserve and one which is fit for purpose.”

Date posted: May 8, 2014

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