Dyfed-Powys Police 'among worst' at reporting crimes

Rape victim HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said the failure to record crime properly was "indefensible"

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Dyfed-Powys Police is ranked one of the four worst performing forces in the UK for crime reporting, while neighbouring South Wales Police is one of the best.

More than 800,000 - or one in five - of all crimes reported in England and Wales each year are not being recorded, said the Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Dyfed-Powys failed to record more than 30% of crimes reported to it, it said.

But the police force said the finding was "potentially misleading" as it was based on fewer than 73 incidents.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report looked at more than 8,000 reports of crime in England and Wales and said the problem was greatest for victims of violent crime, with a third unrecorded.

The watchdog said the failure to record crime properly was "indefensible".

Jeff Farrar said there are a number of reasons why the crime recording rules are not followed

The Association of Chief Police Officers said workload pressures, target culture and inadequate supervision all contributed to under-recording.

An unrecorded crime is classed as one which is reported to the police but is not recorded as an offence.

It means an investigation into the alleged crime is unlikely to happen.

Targets scrapped

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: "The suggestion that 30% of total crime is not recorded is potentially misleading as the sample size was very small, less than 73 incidents.

"All staff acknowledged the force has moved away from a culture focused on targets and performance to one pursuing appropriate outcomes and meeting the needs of the victim."

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said targets for officers had been scrapped and crime figures were discussed at monthly meetings.

He said: "I'm prepared to see a rise in recorded crime - and expect to do so."

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The report in figures
Police report figures
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Meanwhile, South Wales Police were praised for good practice.

Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said: "The inspectorate has praised the integrity and quality of our crime recording but we are determined to be even better.

"We are now recording crime that has never been captured before, developing an even more accurate picture of crime levels in South Wales."

Responding to Gwent Police's report, Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston said there had been a significant cultural shift within the force in the last 12 to 18 months, which was giving officers the confidence to record crime as they should.

"With the move away from numerical targets, the indication is that public confidence in policing has improved and, as a result, they are now more inclined to report incidents," he said.

Further improvements

North Wales Police's report was welcomed by its Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick, but he stressed there was "no room for complacency" and pledged to push for further improvements.

He added the force's crime plan does not include specific targets, other than the overall reduction of crime.

"Specific targets can lead to a target culture which puts pressure on police to keep their crime figures down," he said.

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