Sussex Police makes strides in crime recording

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Sussex Police has come out top of three police forces examined in a recent inspection.

The force was inspected at no notice by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and achieved 95 per cent accuracy in the recording of close to 100,000 reported crimes in Sussex in a year.

HMIC assessed the force’s efforts as ‘Good’, with crime recording accuracy up 83.4 per cent in 2014, although the previous inspection was less comprehensive.

Chief Constable Giles York said: “We were inspected at no notice by the HMIC and to have achieved 95 per cent accuracy is a huge testament to how our staff understand what this means for victims of crime.

“Crime data integrity is about putting victims first and that is at the heart of what we do. Officers and staff across the board have worked hard to achieve this result, knowing each report represents a victim of crime. We want people to have confidence in our figures and recognise that there is no room for complacency.

“Some victims may not have had their crimes recorded entirely accurately and if they have felt let down by that, then I am really sorry. We will need to keep working hard to maintain and improve this very high standard for recording crime to ensure that victims get the services they need. Accurately recording crime means we identify vulnerable and repeat victims and give them the best support possible and means we deploy our resources in the best way possible to prevent crime happening in the future.”

The HMIC Crime Data Integrity inspection praises the force’s:

· high expectations in accurately crime recording

· approach among officers and staff to place the victim at the forefront of its decision making,

· recording accuracy, including 100 per cent of reported rapes

· decisions to cancel recorded crimes of rape, violence and sexual offences.

· progress in implementing recommendations.

Chief Constable York said: “The HMIC has supported us in making huge progress in our compliance with the national crime recording standard, and we welcome their praise of the measures we are taking, some with partners, to further safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

“We note their recommendations that include further training and supervision in an effort to improve our recording even further.”

Commenting on the report, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “One of my key ambitions as PCC is to improve the experience for victims and witnesses when they contact the police. Sussex residents need to be confident that they are taken seriously when they report a crime and that the information they provide is accurately recorded and passed intact through the internal assessment and investigative process.

“Over the past two years, Sussex Police has made significant efforts to instil a better approach to crime recording and more stringent processes and checks. The improvement to 95% Crime Data Recording accuracy, as estimated by HMIC, puts Sussex Police at the top of national force performance and I commend them for their efforts. However, just as there is always room for improvement, we should also not forget that, where a crime is not recorded accurately, there remains a victim who will not have the comfort or satisfaction of the appropriate level of service.”