County police scored better than average for the way they record and deal with crime.
An inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) showed the force recorded 91.6 per cent of all crimes as it should – above the national average of 81 per cent – and it is said there is a “clear understanding amongst staff of the importance of accurate ctrime data”.
The report states: “There has been a significant cultural shift led by the Chief Constable, moving away from chasing performance targets to quality victim focused outcomes which have positively impacted upon victim focus and crime recording standards.”
Despite this, the report mentions localised examples of pressure to under-record crime of categories that had shown a rise in reporting.
It also remarks that some crime records showed a lack of investigative detail within the running log of actions, and that there is “no consistent or coherent approach to the monitoring or management of out-of-court disposals”, with little evidence of victim’ views being sought before decisions are made. The police’s IT systems are said to be well-managed and that there has been a significant investment in training for call-handling staff.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “The report highlights that under the leadership of the Chief Constable and through my scrutiny the people of Lancashire can be confident of the integrity of our crime recording figures.
“That said the force does need to act on the recommendations and I will continue to scrutinise their performance through our regular meetings.”
A spokesman for Lancashire police vowed to improve. They said: “We have already started work on the areas identified for improvement in the report to ensure that the people of Lancashire can remain confident in the integrity of our crime recording figures.”
On national figures, HMIC’s Tom Winsor said: “A national crime-recording rate of 81 per cent is inexcusably poor. Failure properly to record crime is indefensible. This is not about numbers and dry statistics; it’s about victims and the protection of the public.”