Cleveland Police chief defends how they record crime after damning national report

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POLICE chiefs for Hartlepool say they are committed to accurately recording crime after a damning report revealed thousands of offences could be going unrecorded by other forces.

Cleveland Police is awaiting its results after being inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) police watchdog.

An interim report of other forces found up to a fifth of crimes being reported to police are not being recorded.

An inspection of 13 UK forces found 14 rapes were among offences not recorded by officers, including an allegation made by a 13-year-old autistic boy written off as “sexual experimentation”.

Another rape report was not recorded due to “workload pressure” as recording the crime would “entail too much work”, the HMIC report said.

Cleveland Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Iain Spittal, said accurately reporting crime is a top priority to them.

He said: “While Cleveland isn’t one of the forces featured in the interim report, we have undergone the crime data integrity inspection by the HMIC and are waiting for the Cleveland results to be published.

“The accurate recording of crime data is of the utmost importance in helping us safeguard our communities, and I am fully committed to ensuring that happens.

“The interim report gives a useful indicator of areas where significant improvements are needed as well as highlighting a number of strengths in the process.

“Clearly once we receive the Cleveland results, we can focus on the areas where we need to improve as well as look at the areas where we perform well.”

The police watchdog also found some offenders have been issued with cautions when they should have been prosecuted.

HM chief inspector of constabulary Tom Winsor said: “The consequences of under-recording of crime are serious, and may mean victims and the community are failed because crimes are not investigated, the levels of crime will be wrongly under-stated, and police chiefs will lack the information they need to make sound decisions on the deployment of their resources.”

Full figures will be published in October.