The College of Policing is seeking greater consistency in crime recording for police forces across England and Wales with the introduction of new accreditation and training.
A professional register for police crime registrars is being set up, as well as a new programme to ensure that that every registrar receives standard training and guidance, with the first accreditation courses due to begin in the New Year.
Concerns have been raised about the integrity of police-recorded crime figures, one of the two major measures of crime in England and Wales.
In January, the UK Statistics Authority withdrew its gold-standard “national statistics” status from police-recorded crime figures as a result of “accumulating evidence” that the data might be unreliable.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has since identified “weak or absent” management of crime-recording and a “significant” under-recording of crime.
Valerie Peacock, from the College of Policing, said the crime registrar training programme will “ensure that every police force crime registrar receives standard training and guidance to bring greater consistency to crime recording across the country”.
Registrars will have to pass an assessed course and ensure they keep their skills and knowledge sufficiently up to date to be eligible for the professional register.
The College is also looking at other elements of training so that “every officer has a better understanding of the wider importance of consistent data and research”, said Ms Peacock.
The new plans were unveiled last month at the first-ever two-day conference for crime registrars.
The audience heard from Professor Stephen Shute, from the Crime Statistics Advisory Committee, who said police force crime registrars “play a vital role in the accurate recording and monitoring of crime data”.
This is at the “heart of maintaining public confidence and guides policy decisions worth many millions of pounds”, he added.
Jeff Farrar, Chief Constable of Gwent Police and National Policing Lead for Crime Statistics, said: “We are working towards creating the best crime-recording system in the world that is consistently applied, delivers trusted statistics and has the needs of victims and public confidence at its core.
“The development of this training and accreditation programme is an important step in delivering that ambition.”
Date posted: November 19, 2014