Leicestershire Police is failing to record almost one in four crimes reported to it, according to a report released yesterday.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in Leicestershire Police, which found that the force records around 76 per cent of crimes reported to it.
It is estimated the unrecorded crimes total about 21,200 a year, including reports of sexual assaults and violence made by the victims.
The force, which covers Rutland, says it is taking steps to address the concerns raised in the report.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham said the findings were of “very great concern” to her.
She said: “We estimate that the force fails to record 21,200 reported crimes each year, including reports from victims of crimes of a sexual nature, and of violence. Although safeguarding measures were in place for many of the victims of crimes, there was little evidence of investigations being undertaken where the crime had not made it onto the books. This is particularly true for cases of domestic abuse.
“I am especially disappointed to find that a third of reported violent crimes are not properly recorded. This is of serious concern as it can prevent victims receiving the support they need and deserve, and prevent offenders being brought to justice.
“The extent to which crimes reported directly to the force public protection teams are not being recorded is also of serious concern.
“The force needs to take immediate action to improve its recording of these crimes.
“The importance of correctly recording crime cannot be overlooked, or simply passed off as a bureaucratic measure: if a force does not correctly record crime it cannot properly understand the demand on its services, nor provide support to those who need it most. Vast improvement is needed in Leicestershire Police.”
She went on to say that recommendations have been made to help the force improve.
She added: “I am encouraged by the fact that the force has immediately taken steps to address our concerns. I will carry out a re-inspection in 2018 to assess the force’s progress.”
A force spokesman said: “We note the report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services about Crime Data Integrity in Leicestershire and the conclusions it reaches, which are consistent with half of the forces it has inspected to date.
“We acknowledge there are areas that we need to improve upon, and are taking steps to address these administrative shortfalls.”