West Midlands Police fail to record 16,600 violent crimes

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BIRMINGHAM: West Midlands Police is “failing victims” and not recording more than 16,600 violent crimes each year, BBC has reported quoting  a watchdog. The force was rated inadequate by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, who said victims felt let down and not believed.

Only 78% of violent crime and 89% of sexual offences reported were recorded, it found. The force said it had made “substantial progress”.

About three-quarters of police forces around the country have already been inspected and of those, two-thirds were rated as either “inadequate” or “requiring improvement”.

Reports from inspections were first published in 2016, after police forces throughout England and Wales were found to have an “utterly unacceptable” rate of accurately recording crime.

The recording rate by the West Midlands force remained “unacceptable and must be urgently addressed”, the watchdog said.

An “unrecorded” crime is one that has been reported to the police but not recorded as an offence, and means the alleged crime may not have been investigated.

In 2017 the same watchdog said five out of six reported crimes were recorded by West Midlands Police but 38,800 crimes each year were not.

It was re-examined for violent crime and sexual offences in 2018, with inspectors auditing a sample of reports from 1 March to 31 May. But they could not look at other types of crime because the force was updating its systems.

Midlands force have been given metal-detecting “knife wands” in an attempt to tackle knife crime Of the 2,176 reports of crime audited, 470 related to domestic abuse – of these 354 were recorded.

Of those not recorded, 95 included offences classed as violent, such as common assaults, ABH, harassment and malicious communications.

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe, from the force, claimed the watchdog had failed to recognise its strengths in recording crime overall. She said: “It is frustrating that, despite substantial progress, our grading has remained as inadequate.”

Ms Rolfe said the force was confident its current position was “much improved” and it could not be criticised for failing to put more resources into crime recording. The watchdog also published a report on Leicestershire, which was again rated as “inadequate”.