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Kent Police improving crime recording practices after being told it had ‘taken its eye off the ball’

PUBLISHED: 14:01 28 September 2017

Kent Police

Kent Police

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It emerged in June that the force was only correctly recording around 84 per cent of reported crimes

Kent Police’s crime recording practices have improved three months after a watchdog warned the force had “taken its eye off the ball”, the county’s top cop has insisted.

In June, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found Kent Police was only correctly recording around 84 per cent of reported crimes, meaning 24,000 crimes a year were not making it onto the force’s books.

Speaking at his quarterly Performance and Delivery Board meeting on Wednesday, at which he holds chief constable Alan Pughsley to account in public, police and crime commissioner, Matthew Scott said: “The results weren’t good.”

He went on to ask: “Hypothetically, if HMIC was to return tomorrow – you know I intend to invite them back sooner than later – are you absolutely confident that they would find greater accuracy?

Mr Pughsley was keen to emphasise nobody within Kent Police was “supressing crime in any way, shape or form”.

He said improvements had been made to the force’s administrative processes around Crime Data Integrity accuracy, and that those improvements explained why recorded crime in Kent had increased.

Mr Pughsley added: “If you rolled forward to the end of the year, if we said January 2018 for example and HMIC came in and inspected our data then, I would be wholly confident that our accuracy would be regularly at 90-plus per cent.”

Mr Scott said after the meeting: “I am satisfied with the actions the force has taken and the chief constable has provided me with assurances that, when the force is looked at again, we wouldn’t be in the same situation as we were found earlier this year.

“A lot of lessons have been learned, processes have been changed, and training has been done.”

He again stated his intention to write to HMIC, inviting its inspectors to return to Kent to inspect the force again at a suitable time.

“We await to see what happens when I do invite HMIC back, probably next year,” he said.

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