Gloucestershire Constabulary 'inadequate' at recording crime
A police force's recording of crime has been branded "inadequate" after it failed to record almost a fifth of reported crimes.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate assessed Gloucestershire Constabulary last year and said it must make improvements.
Crimes that went unrecorded included sexual offences, rape and violence - many of which involved domestic abuse.
The force's chief constable said he was "disappointed" and that "austerity" had led to the failure.
The Crime Data Integrity (CDI) report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found only 81.6% of reported crimes were recorded between July and December 2018 - equating to almost 8,000 reported crimes being unrecorded each year.
The report found various proportions of reported crimes were not recorded, including:
- 30.8% of violent crimes
- 16.7% of sex offences
- 19 out of 41 vulnerable victim crimes
- 30 out of 117 rape reports were recorded incorrectly, with 13 not being recorded at all
HMICFRS said the force was "failing to make correct crime recording decisions" and was "letting down" the victims of crime.
"It must now work hard to make the necessary improvements so that victims of crime can be confident their reports will be taken seriously, recorded and investigated," it concluded.
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said the force had four members of staff "helping to ensure crime recording was at a high standard" in 2014, but now only one part-time employee "due to austerity".
"We have tried hard to balance our investments and focussed on investigation and front-line services," he said.
"A consequence has been that we have underperformed in this area."
He added that a plan to address the failings had been prepared, which included recruiting a new member of staff responsible for recording crime.
The HMICFRS also looked at other forces and found improvements had been made in the recording of crimes by City of London Police and Thames Valley Police since previous inspections, although Thames Valley Police is still rated as inadequate.