PA Ready News UK
One of England’s biggest police forces is failing to record more than 16,600 violent crimes each year, a watchdog has claimed.
West Midlands Police was rated as “inadequate” for the way it records violent crime and sexual offences by government inspectors.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that 78.2% of violent crime and 89.2% of sexual offences reported to the force were recorded.
The report said: “The recording rates for violent crime and sexual offences remain a cause of concern.
“Too often the force is still failing victims of crime, including domestic abuse victims.”
It went on: “By our estimate the force is now failing to record over 16,600 violent crimes that are reported to it each year.
“As violent crime can be particularly distressing for the victim, and many of these crimes involve injury, the recording rate remains unacceptable and must be urgently addressed.”
Inspectors were not able to look at other types of crime because the force is updating its systems.
Bosses at West Midlands Police hit back at the findings, with Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe claiming the watchdog had failed to recognise the force’s strengths in recording crime overall.
She said: “It is frustrating that, despite substantial progress, our grading has remained as inadequate.
“This report focuses upon our inspection of reports of violent crime and sexual offences.
“It does not include the results of other crimes, and consequently it has not recognised the force’s overall crime recording from which we have good, reliable crime accuracy.”
WMP was rated as inadequate for recording crime in 2017, and re-examined for violent crime and sexual offences in 2018, with inspectors auditing a sample of reports from March 1 to May 31.
Of the 2,176 reports of crime audited, 470 related to domestic abuse. Of these 354 were recorded.