Police fail to record sexual offences correctly, report finds

Sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults were not recorded as crimes by Devon and Cornwall Police, a report has found.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) assessed crime data records for 43 police forces.

The report also found the force continued to give cautions in domestic abuse cases, against national guidelines to charge offenders.

Devon and Cornwall Police said "there are some areas we must address".

'Cause for concern'

The report, named Crime Date Integrity, said on records relating to sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults there was "a significant cause for concern".

Inspectors examined 54 reports which were recorded separately on the force non-crime system and found that 12 should have been recorded as crimes. The force had recorded two out of the 12 correctly.

Inspectors recommended Devon and Cornwall Police to "immediately" take steps to ensure that reports are recorded as crimes.

Deputy Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall Bill Skelly said: "As an organisation we need to fully digest the HMIC's report and review all of their recommendations.

"Having said that, it is clear that while there are some areas we must address and we are doing so, the report also highlights areas of good performance."

HMIC said a second batch of force-specific reports would be published in Autumn 2014, followed by a final national inspection report, detailing findings and recommendations for forces.

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