Greater Manchester Police failed to record a massive 38,000 reported crimes last year, a damning new report claims.
And while Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies says that the force, which covers the Wigan borough, has made improvements since its last inspection, there is still much room for improvement.
The watchdog’s latest Crime Data Integrity Inspection judges the force “inadequate” saying that it is particularly under-recording too many reports of rape, other sexual offences and violence.
The inspectors say the force needs to “act promptly to improve the accuracy of its recording of these reports and to provide all victims with the service to which they are entitled and deserve.”
Numbered among the shortcomings are reports of crime reported directly to public protection investigation units are not always being recorded; and the force is incorrectly cancelling some recorded sexual offences (excluding rape), and offences of robbery and violence.
The report reads: “Some of these failings are a consequence of officers and staff not understanding their responsibilities for crime-recording, including the cancellation of recorded crime records. They are, in addition, underpinned by limited supervision by the force to support officers and staff in making good and prompt crime-recording decisions.”
The 38,000 unrecorded crimes, the report says, represents a rate of 85.49 per cent. The 14.51 percent of reported crimes that go unrecorded include serious crimes such as sexual offences and rape.
It says that the recording rate for violent crime is a particular cause of concern at only 75.36 per cent, meaning “that on too many occasions the force is failing victims of crime.”
But it does acknowledge that the force has implemented improvements on the back of the last inspection in 2014.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said: “In the past two years we have made significant improvements in recording crime with an increase in accuracy from 68 per cent to 85 per cent. This means that in well over eight out of 10 cases, crime is accurately being recorded.
“Although we have made significant progress, we recognise that there is still more work to do to ensure that we are where we want to be. One of the key developments will be the introduction of a new IT system that will allow officers to record crime at the first contact. So when the victim rings us to report a crime, it will automatically be recorded.”