Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

By KATIE DICKINSON Police Force under Fire from Inspectorate over the Recording of Crimes; More Than 240 Sexual Offence Reports Go Unrecorded

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

By KATIE DICKINSON Police Force under Fire from Inspectorate over the Recording of Crimes; More Than 240 Sexual Offence Reports Go Unrecorded

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com @KATIEJDICKINSON

CONCERNS have been raised over Northumbria Police's recording of sex offences in a new report.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has published an assessment on the accuracy of crime recording in the force.

It found that, overall, Northumbria Police records around 93% of the crime reports it receives, meaning it fails to record 7,300 crimes each year.

The report raised particular concerns over the fact that just under 92% of sexual offences were recorded, meaning more than 240 reports go unrecorded each year.

HMIC said: "The force's recording of reports of sexual offences is a cause of concern.

"Those failings are significant given the very serious nature of sexual offences and the harm that they cause to their victims.

"We found, for example, that the force had failed to record reports of sexual assault against both adults and children, sexual activity with a child and incitement of children to commit a sexual act."

The report also found that, out of 120 rape cases audited by HMIC, only 107 had been recorded.

The report said: "Three of these 13 missed crimes involved particularly vulnerable victims.

"We found that the level and extent of the service provided to these victims falls substantially short of acceptable standards.

"These cases were immediately brought to the attention of the force to address.

"Four of the missed rape crimes had been incorrectly recorded as other serious sexual offences."

It also said that 93.72% of violent crimes were recorded, meaning the force fails to record over 1,400 violent crimes that are reported to it each year.

HMIC judged the force as "requires improvement".

Spokesman Mike Cunningham said: "While we found that Northumbria Police had made progress since our inspection in 2014, such as improving staff understanding of crime recording, I have concerns that gaps remain in the force's crime recording arrangements, particularly in respect of the recording of some serious offences. …

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