One in five crimes reported to North Yorkshire Police are not recorded properly, a new report has revealed.
The inspection found that serious and violent crimes such as domestic abuse and rape are not properly recorded.
In an assessment published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS), North Yorkshire Police’s crime recording has been judged as ‘inadequate’.
More than 9,200 crimes a year are not recorded correctly including more than 3,300 reports of violent crime and 170 sex offences.
The inspectorate has previously looked at the accuracy of crime recording in 2014.
HM Inspector of Constabulary “While our inspection shows that North Yorkshire Police has implemented most of the recommendations from our 2014 report, we still found of plenty room for improvement.
“As it stands today, we estimate almost 1 in 5 crimes in North Yorkshire are not properly recorded. This is simply inexcusable.
“These crimes include serious and violent crimes such sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.
“The force has robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of victims of these crimes, but too many offences continue to go unrecorded and therefore not investigated properly.
“The force is potentially depriving victims of the services and justice to which they are entitled.”
The inspection identified flaws which mean that officers and staff often fail to make the right decisions at the earliest opportunity.
The force has already taken some steps to address the concerns.
North Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward acknowledged the force needs to do “much better”.
She said: “Based on its inspection last year, HMICFRS found that although our officers and staff are focused on the needs of victims, our administration is letting us down, and we are not recording all crimes as we should.
“That must change, and we have already started to make improvements. It’s important to remember that every call we answer is logged; nothing is ignored.”
Julia Mulligan, elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, says the Chief Constable must make improvements ‘as a matter of urgency’.
She said: “I am concerned by this report which clearly identifies that North Yorkshire Police is not recording crime as it should. The public rightly expect better, and improvements need to be made as a matter of urgency.
“I also have wider concerns about how well the police understand some crimes, in particular stalking, harassment and coercive control, which this report highlights. This will form part of the action plan going forwards.
“However, crime recording is complex and can be much more difficult than you may think. For example, the report says, during a single incident a number of crimes may occur which must all be ‘crimed’ separately. In addition, information taken by the Force Control Room is not always fully communicated to officers at the scene.
“On the more positive side, the report does state clearly that the service to victims was not impacted, with officers attending and responding as needed. This is principally therefore a recording issue, as opposed to a failure in providing a service to victims. It is also reassuring to see that there is no evidence of deliberate actions to avoid crime recording.
“In response, it has been agreed that a member of my team will work directly with senior officers to oversee the implementation of an action plan, and I will ask them to report on progress in public.”
HMICFRS will re-visit North Yorkshire Police to assess progress in due course.