Watch Derbyshire police chief constable respond after critical report

A report has graded Derbyshire Constabulary as 'inadequate' when it comes to recording crime.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:23 am
Peter Goodman, Derbyshire Constabulary's top cop.

The report - produced by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) following an inspection - raises a number of issues relating to the lack of crimes recorded.

These issues are now being addressed by a dedicated team which is being led by a chief officer, according to Derbyshire Constabulary.

Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: "Firstly, I think it is really important to stress that this report doesn't reflect the care and compassion victims of crime receive from our dedicated police officers every day. Nor does it reflect the work they undertake to prevent and reduce offending in our communities.

Peter Goodman, Derbyshire Constabulary's top cop.

"What is important to the people of Derbyshire is the support and care offered to crime victims and that they understand the efforts our officers make to bring perpetrators to justice. This report isn't a measure of those things; it is a measure of how we count crimes in a very complex way."

Derbyshire Constabulary gathers, records and assesses information every day in various different forms, through emergency calls, crime investigations, intelligence, safeguarding and many other areas. The force does this to prevent and protect people in communities from crime and harm.

Mr Goodman added: "The report has highlighted areas where we clearly need to do better in order to comply with the Home Office Counting Rules, and our action plan to tackle these areas is already under way led by a chief officer.

"I do, however, continue to have concerns with the crime recording system and counting rules should not be used as a method to measure the effectiveness of our police response, decision making, investigation or safeguarding, or indeed our success as a force.

"As an example, I point to one of the case studies used in this report which creates an impression we have not supported a vulnerable crime victim, and assumptions similar to this seem to have been made throughout, but that is absolutely not the case. In another case highlighted, allegations of a serious sexual offence were recorded and investigated; all suspects were identified and arrested, and support provided to the victim, yet because crimes were not recorded for each suspect, this is reported as a failure by HMICFRS.

"This does not reflect the safeguarding or support we provided in these and many other cases. It does not impact on the suspect or future safeguarding measures and does not impact on the investigation or putting the case before a court. The HMICFRS is measuring counting rule compliance not our approach to victim focussed support.

"Information is the lifeblood of policing which has to capture vulnerability through all crime types, including on line fraud and cyber-crime. It has to cater for those who are afraid to follow the traditional route of picking up a telephone to report or walking into a police station.

"The easy option for me to address this would be to put a dedicated team of people to achieve the standards required by the Home Office Counting Rules, but I prefer and have chosen to put those people into our neighbourhoods and to protect the most vulnerable in society.

"Adhering to counting rules alone does not protect the public, accurate recording of information in the right place at the right time does. I accept that we do have improvements to make and plans are in place to achieve this. We are committed to improving what we do, with a focus on supporting victims rather than simple compliance and I have called for a new and relevant index of harm to be created that better describes the modern policing mission and for a more granular crime survey of England and Wales."