Police and Crime Commissioners blame funding cuts for inaccurate crime stats – plus editor’s comment

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6:00am 18th November 2014
(Updated 3:58pm 18th November 2014)

Surrey and Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioners are round on the Government over budget cuts.

It is in response to a new report which shows police in both counties have been under-recording crimes.


The HMIC report says it is down to the way offences are recorded.

21 per cent do not make it onto officials stats in Surrey, it is 27 per cent in Hampshire.

But Surrey and Hampshire’s PCCs both say funding cuts are at least partly to blame.

Surrey’s Kevin Hurley says: “Today’s HMIC report on crime statistics lifts the lid on what Government policy decisions are doing to policing. These decisions are now well and truly impacting victims of crime.

“You cannot keep cutting police and the criminal justice sector and expect to keep us all safe.”

Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes has echoed that call, saying: “I am challenging the Government and HMIC to ensure that any future investigations and recommendations help to deliver a more effective service and build public confidence in the police.

“So, I’m looking to Government not to reduce funding to Hampshire Constabulary any further.”

And Mr Hurley says if things carry on as they are with funding, taxpayers may be forced to foot the bill: “You cannot keep cutting and deliver the same level of service, that’s why I’m going to be asking the Surrey public if they are prepared to pay £1 per week more on their council tax to maintain the same level of policing we’ve always had in the county.”

The Government says the under-recording of crimes in unacceptable.

The HMIC report looks at how and when some crimes, many the most serious, are recorded.

At the moment an allegation is investigated first and recorded second.

But too few are making it onto the final figures.

That is down to a number of factors, including crimes with multiple victims only being recorded once.

Why some crimes don’t make it to the final figures

A victim states that they don’t want to pursue criminal action

Multiple crimes within one incident are only recorded once

Crimes with multiple victims are only recorded once rather than for each victim

Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire said: “I am concerned that Hampshire Constabulary has been found to be under-recording crime. especially for rape cases.

“It is critical that all victims receive an appropriate and consistent level of service from the police wherever a crime occurs.

“Failure to properly record crime can mean that people do not receive appropriate support from the Constabulary and other support agencies.”

The force is changing things, so the crime is now recorded as soon as the victim comes forward.

It says that puts victims first and means the figures will be more accurate.

Detective Superintendent Rachel Farrell said: “We are already seeing improvement.

“We are recording more crime on our systems every year and if that means that public trust and confidence in policing also goes up then that can only be positive.”

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “Surrey Police welcomes Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary’s (HMIC) report on crime data integrity and is carefully considering all of the recommendations made.

“Accurate crime statistics are essential in holding police accountable for the work we do in both detecting and preventing crime.

“The force has to manage a huge amount of information and getting processes right is crucial as the quality of data has an impact on how crimes are investigated, where resources are channelled and victim satisfaction. We are committed to complying with national standards to achieve this.

“Surrey Police has a range of measures in place to continue to ensure that accuracy and consistency are achieved in recording crime and has made a number of changes in the last 12 months to improve our data recording practices.”

One of the areas highlighted as being problematic in the report is reports of rape.

Hampshire Police says it has seen a 53 per cent increase in reports in the last three years and sees that as a positive, as it means victims have confidence in the police.


Editor’s Comment 

Does the 53% increase in reporting actually mean what the Police believe or are there other reasons?  Could there be an actual 53% increase in the number of crimes committed? And here are those Surrey statistics which cost so much but are apparently not accurate – why bother?

Please leave a comment on our Comment page


Crime Plus ASB Breakdown for Surrey Police

Crime Breakdown (Dec 2010-Sep 2014)
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Crime Rate Trends
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Crime Type and ASB Charts for Surrey Police

All Crime + ASB
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All Crime (No ASB)
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Anti-Social Behaviour
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Vehicle Crime
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Violent Crime
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
In September 2011, Other Crime was divided into 6 categories – Drugs, Public Disorder & Weapons (which was later split further and so is not displayed here), Criminal Damage & Arson (CD&A), Theft – Shoplifting, Theft-Other and Other.
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Criminal Damage and Arson
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Theft - Shoplifting
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Theft - Other
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Miscelanious Other
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com

From May 2013, the following changes were made to the crime categories:
I) The violent crime category was renamed “violence and sexual offences”
2) A new category for “bicycle theft” was created which previously fell within “other theft”
3) A new category for “theft from the person” was created which previously fell within “other theft”
4) Public disorder and weapons were then split into two new categories; “public order” and “possession of weapons”
5) Both “other firearms offences” and “other knives offences” which were in “other crime” were moved into “possession of weapons”.

Bike Theft
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Theft From the Person
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Possession of Weapons
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com
Public Order
©Copyright UKCrimeStats.com

Burglary Robbery Vehicle Violent Drugs CD&A Shoplifting Bike Theft Theft From the Person Other Theft Weapons Public Order Other Total
Sep 2014 3,063 443 25 331 1,034 212 654 320 114 21 734 22 281 91 7,345
Aug 2014 3,096 510 19 307 1,030 287 636 305 108 25 771 24 254 94 7,466
Jul 2014 3,654 461 25 277 1,080 229 658 334 128 23 861 26 238 118 8,112
Jun 2014 3,443 497 15 296 1,020 246 658 324 93 28 753 16 197 149 7,735
May 2014 3,146 475 21 324 941 263 675 284 68 26 596 11 142 139 7,111
Apr 2014 2,979 552 24 299 821 295 690 318 82 16 596 24 168 148 7,012
Mar 2014 2,871 509 37 378 881 254 691 296 98 27 621 27 163 107 6,960
Feb 2014 2,377 522 27 365 768 199 583 312 66 27 513 23 121 76 5,979
Jan 2014 2,531 534 23 370 848 384 565 312 70 20 572 19 158 90 6,496
Dec 2013 2,464 569 18 351 777 234 629 311 82 31 543 17 139 93 6,258
Nov 2013 2,766 628 21 395 720 284 740 312 90 39 546 18 141 74 6,774

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