The force’s determination to be compliant with the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) has resulted in a significant audit of crime statistics.
New procedures were put in place in the summer of 2016 to ensure the force was in line with NCRS.
During the process, a number of offences although having been dealt with, were identified as having been closed without a crime number. This has since been reviewed and has resulted in an increase in the amount of offences recorded.
Nationally, most forces are anticipated to show an increase in crime, while Nottinghamshire looks to remain around the national average with a 13.7% increase (9925 offences) for crime up until the end of March 2017.
The force is confident that its crime recording is ethical and the recent action puts them in a positive position for the forthcoming Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary crime and data integrity inspection.
DCC Simon Torr said “The HMIC requires each force to achieve at least 95% compliance with the National Crime Recording Standards to be considered as ‘good’, which has placed the force under significant scrutiny, and subsequently investing resources, to ensure that we were recording crimes in line with the NCRS.
“We swiftly identified that in some cases there were incidents that had been properly dealt with and closed but without a crime number being issued. We have since gone into the system and reviewed all of our incidents, and where appropriate these have been correctly given a crime number. As expected, this has resulted in increases.
“There has been an increase in certain offence types, such as cyber-crime. We record all of these offences which means we have a better understanding of them enabling us to tackle these modern and developing crime types.
The number of incidents recorded has stayed broadly the same as last year, but we have now converted more of these into crime numbers.
“The most important part is that we are doing the right thing for victims, we want to ensure the public get a service that is right for them; we are identifying victims of crime, and providing the appropriate support and referral to specialist services where needed and dealing with offenders more effectively than ever.
“We have put robust processes in place to maintain our ethical compliance in line with the national standard, and as a result we will now be consistently recording crimes at a higher rate than last year. However, we will still be working as hard as we can with partners to crime down crime, particularly that which caused the most harm to victims”
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said that he believes the constant changes in crime recording are unhelpful. “Every time there is a change in the way the police have to record crime, it makes any comparison with previous years impossible. It is confusing for the public as, in reality, crime is generally pretty stable in Nottinghamshire.
“To compare the last year’s figures against the previous year is rather like comparing apples and oranges. Frankly, it’s a mess and it needs sorting once and for all with clear, unequivocal and universally implemented recording mechanisms.”
Figures show violence without injury, which includes harassment and common assault offences, has increased 49.4% - up 3777 offences. In some of these cases (common assault and public order) we are not always able to trace the victim – for example, where the report is of a general disturbance but on arrival, officers cannot find anyone injured or aggrieved.
There have been 116 additional burglaries, while robbery has reduced by 23 offences, and theft from person is down by 155 offences (14.2%). In context however, burglary is still 6.3% lower than 5 years ago, and robbery 6% lower.
A dedicated knife crime team has also been using intelligence to target offenders believed to be carrying weapons. This has resulted in an 8.4% increase in possession of weapons (61 offences).
The force continues to support victims of sexual offences, and with several historical prosecutions being reported in the media, the increase in victims’ confidence is reflected in an increase of 24.8% (517 offences).
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 12th April 2017