NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Police has made significant improvements to its crime recording standards, with Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service, (HMICFRS), awarding the Force a ‘good’ rating following their inspection visit in February and March.
This good rating is a positive step forward for thefForce since its last Crime Recording Integrity Inspection back in 2014 – which saw them performing at below expected standards.
The HMICFRS inspected all 43 police forces and their inspection process examines forces’ ability to identify crimes, record them in a timely manner, identify the correct crime type in line with the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime take a victim focus approach to recording, record accurate data, examine if officers and staff involved in crime recording have appropriate training and that Forces identify victims of crime who are repeat victims, and those victims who are vulnerable. In addition, the cancellation of any crime previously recorded is also scrutinised for accuracy and victim updates.
The inspectorate report said that Northamptonshire Police has made changes to its systems and processes to improve its crime recording.
‘These changes, supported by relevant training and messages from the force crime and incident registrar (FCIR) and his deputy, have improved the crime recording standards the force is achieving.’
The HMICFRS report acknowledged the work of FCIR Nick Gray, his deputy Tony Barsby and their team, including their development of crime recording training for new officers and those who make crime recording decisions, such as call handlers and Crime Management Unit (CMU) staff, which has helped to improve Force standards. In addition, the team has implemented an effective audit schedule, which is regularly reviewed by senior managers and provides confidence that these improvements can be maintained.
HMICFRS found that Northamptonshire Police has:
- trained staff in its CMU to make sure they understand the national crime recording standards and Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR);
- trained staff in the force control room (FCR) to make sure that they record crimes at first point of contact most of the time;
- introduced an initial investigation team (IIT), which investigates incidents that don’t need to be attended and records any associated crimes;
- a telephone response team (TRT), which provides appointments by telephone;
- effective processes to identify and rectify incorrect crime recording decisions through the CMU and the force audit team; and
- provided training and introduced effective processes to make sure it identifies and records modern slavery offences.
- The FCIR has completed a National College of Policing course for FCIRs and is fully accredited for the role. The deputy is in the process of becoming accredited.
Nick Adderley, Chief Constable said: “I’m thrilled we have received a ‘good’ rating from HMICFRS. There is so much great work happening across the Force at the moment and this report is another positive example. It’s further evidence that we’re moving forwards and really starting to make progress.
“We need to continue the momentum and maintain these good crime recording levels, and in getting it right first time, which I’m confident we will achieve. We’re aiming to be a high performing Force and certainly won’t be resting on our laurels.
“The inspection outlined areas where we still need to improve, such as increasing training particularly to our multi-agency safeguarding hub team, as well as improving things such as the collection of equality information – we’re working to make sure these are addressed as quickly as possible.
“This good rating has been achieved because of the hard work of our officers and staff and I want to thank them for making sure that crime is being recorded correctly, both to better support victims and to give us clearer information about the types of crime being committed across the County, and where it is being committed. Crime data helps us to better deploy our resources to respond to trends in criminal behaviour and supports us in our efforts to fight crime and protect people.”
Stephen Mold, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said: “I am delighted the Force has received this good rating from HMICFRS. An enormous amount of work has gone into making these improvements and I want to thank the Force for all their effort, particularly Nick Gray and his team.
“Recording crime correctly is vitally important, it ensures the public receive a good quality of service. Accurately recording all crimes, including those which have happened historically, enables investigations to be carried out and offenders brought to justice. Getting crime recording right first time means all victims will receive the level of service they require and deserve. I am really pleased with this achievement, this has been a key area for concern which I asked the Force to focus on through our accountability process. This was a job well done.”