HMIC: Cases of rape wrongly recorded as 'no crime' meaning victims not supported

Rape not recorded as a crime at Cheshire Police - inspection finds

Rape not recorded as a crime at Cheshire Police - inspection finds

First published in News
Last updated

GENUINE reports of rape are not being recognised as a crime by Cheshire Police, meaning victims may not be supported, according to a critical report published today.

An inspection into crime data integrity by HMIC has highlighted how the force wrongly records some violent and sexual offences as 'no-crime'.

'No-crime' refers to an incident that was 'initially recorded as a crime, but was then decided not to be'.

Of 71 cases reviewed, inspectors found 29 incidents of rape, robbery, and violence that should have been recorded as a crime, were recorded as 'no-crime', meaning the investigation ended.

Of 30 rape cases, 14 had been incorrectly recorded as 'no-crime', with 'opinion' relied upon, instead of 'veritable information'.

"This is a significant cause for concern and is a matter of material and urgent importance," said the report.

"Immediately, the force should ensure guidance is provided to officers and staff who are engaged in no-crime decisions."

HMIC said the audit failure may mean rape victims are not supported properly.

Other rape cases had been recorded late, while some rape reports had not been recorded as a crime, but closed as a 'crime-related incident'.

"This is a serious issue which precludes the force from having a clear picture of all offending that is occurring in the force area, more importantly the service and support made available to the victim may not always be what it should be," said the report.

It also found issues such as mental health and alcohol dependency can have a 'negative influence' on investigating a rape, delaying or stopping a crime from being recorded.

"This is not acceptable," said HMIC. A review of how rape reports are managed was instructed.

Cheshire Police has no policy on how crime should be recorded, instead relying on legal rules set by the government's National Crime Recording Standard and Home Office Counting Rules.

HMIC ordered a crime recording policy be introduced immediately, and also highlighted ' significant concerns' over how cases of domestic violence are handled.  Some cases referred to police by specialist agencies were wrongly not recognised as crimes.

And problems with victim support was also highlighted in the inspection.

HMIC found victims were not consulted enough on punishments given to offenders when the case did not reach court.

Police have the power to punish criminals with a caution, penalty notice, warning or community resolution such as a letter of apology - known as 'out of court disposals'.

Of 80 cases reviewed, only 26 of 45 victims were consulted on the suitability of the 'out of court' punishment. In the case of disorder, only four of 14 victims were consulted.

"Immediately, the force should take steps to ensure...the views of the victim in respect of the use of the disposal are considered properly and adequately," said HMIC.

Crime is expected to be recorded as soon as possible, or at least within 24 hours, at Cheshire Police.

The wider accuracy of how crime is recorded was questioned, particularly when carried out by individual officers, with HMIC reviewing 96 incident records.

Of the 92 crimes that should have been recorded, only 62 were. Of the 62, four were wrongly classified, and 19 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under Home Office guidelines.

"There is need for improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of crime recording decisions," the report added.

Reacting to the inspection, Ass Chf Con Guy Hindle, from Cheshire Police, said: "Following an internal review Cheshire Constabulary has already taken action to address some of the main recommendations highlighted within the report.

"However, we recognise that there may have been issues in the administration of certain types of crime, specifically violence and sexual offences where the details of the crime can often be complex which can make the recording of the crime complicated.

"Having had the issues highlighted by HMIC we have undergone a review of the crimes incorrectly classified to ensure thorough investigations have taken place and their classifications have now been changed.

"It is important to stress that HMIC questioned the administration process of recording the crimes at fault, not the investigations into them."

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said he would ensure recommendations of the inspection were met.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:14pm Thu 28 Aug 14

#scarlet pimpernel# says...

This is disgusting. I hope that it gets sorted out soon. We only have to look to the East in Rotherham to see the gross neglect of victims and negligence of the police force there. Rape is a crime against humanity and as such must be dealt with seriously.
This is disgusting. I hope that it gets sorted out soon. We only have to look to the East in Rotherham to see the gross neglect of victims and negligence of the police force there. Rape is a crime against humanity and as such must be dealt with seriously. #scarlet pimpernel#
  • Score: 18

10:11am Fri 29 Aug 14

grey_man says...

This is a pattern of recording sexual offences that is evident across the UK according to today's news. It needs to change, as does the culture of the UK's town halls.
This is a pattern of recording sexual offences that is evident across the UK according to today's news. It needs to change, as does the culture of the UK's town halls. grey_man
  • Score: 12

4:01pm Fri 29 Aug 14

d p hughes says...

I despair at our so-called justice system.The bitterest irony of this is that police regard themselves as social workers.Time to focus on their role as law enforcement officers.
I despair at our so-called justice system.The bitterest irony of this is that police regard themselves as social workers.Time to focus on their role as law enforcement officers. d p hughes
  • Score: 9

7:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Karlar says...

d p hughes wrote:
I despair at our so-called justice system.The bitterest irony of this is that police regard themselves as social workers.Time to focus on their role as law enforcement officers.
Heaven help us locally if Social Workers take the lead in dealing with matters like this, just look at what they have achieved or failed to do so elsewhere in the country.
[quote][p][bold]d p hughes[/bold] wrote: I despair at our so-called justice system.The bitterest irony of this is that police regard themselves as social workers.Time to focus on their role as law enforcement officers.[/p][/quote]Heaven help us locally if Social Workers take the lead in dealing with matters like this, just look at what they have achieved or failed to do so elsewhere in the country. Karlar
  • Score: 9

7:51pm Fri 29 Aug 14

L Byrne says...

For a bloke on a salary of £70k plus perks and who is supposed to be in charge of the Cheshire Police Force, John Dwer evidently does not have much to say in explanation or, heaven forbid, an apology to the people who have suffered by what seems to be serious incompetence.

A police and crime commissioner who will not apologise, now where have I heard that before?
For a bloke on a salary of £70k plus perks and who is supposed to be in charge of the Cheshire Police Force, John Dwer evidently does not have much to say in explanation or, heaven forbid, an apology to the people who have suffered by what seems to be serious incompetence. A police and crime commissioner who will not apologise, now where have I heard that before? L Byrne
  • Score: 8

10:53pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Cymo says...

Why am I not surprised to hear this? The police have always been institutionally sexist. Even after the many tragic murders of women by violent partners and sex pests, they are unwilling to act responsibly. The criminal is always given the benefit of the doubt
Why am I not surprised to hear this? The police have always been institutionally sexist. Even after the many tragic murders of women by violent partners and sex pests, they are unwilling to act responsibly. The criminal is always given the benefit of the doubt Cymo
  • Score: 5

6:00pm Sat 30 Aug 14

wildlifeterry says...

ACC Guy Hindle, from Cheshire Police, said: "It is important to stress that HMIC questioned the administration process of recording the crimes at fault, not the investigations into them."

Surely, if an incident has not been recorded as a crime, there would not have been a criminal investigation. Hence the lack of support for victims.
ACC Guy Hindle, from Cheshire Police, said: "It is important to stress that HMIC questioned the administration process of recording the crimes at fault, not the investigations into them." Surely, if an incident has not been recorded as a crime, there would not have been a criminal investigation. Hence the lack of support for victims. wildlifeterry
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Sat 30 Aug 14

grey_man says...

L Byrne wrote:
For a bloke on a salary of £70k plus perks and who is supposed to be in charge of the Cheshire Police Force, John Dwer evidently does not have much to say in explanation or, heaven forbid, an apology to the people who have suffered by what seems to be serious incompetence.

A police and crime commissioner who will not apologise, now where have I heard that before?
It's now the standard approach of senior people in the public sector. Take the big money that nobody in the private sector would dream of offering you, associate yourself with any perceived successes, whether it has anything to do with you or not. But lie, deny, hide and do whatever else it takes when things go wrong or come out into the open.

What Rotherham teaches us is that people in senior public sector roles are willing to cover up and deny their responsibilities when it comes to the rape, torture and abuse of hundreds of children, so we shouldn't expect any different standards of behaviour from them when it comes to less serious issues.

I feel sorry for those in front line roles who try to do things right or whistleblow. Many of them lions led by donkeys.
[quote][p][bold]L Byrne[/bold] wrote: For a bloke on a salary of £70k plus perks and who is supposed to be in charge of the Cheshire Police Force, John Dwer evidently does not have much to say in explanation or, heaven forbid, an apology to the people who have suffered by what seems to be serious incompetence. A police and crime commissioner who will not apologise, now where have I heard that before?[/p][/quote]It's now the standard approach of senior people in the public sector. Take the big money that nobody in the private sector would dream of offering you, associate yourself with any perceived successes, whether it has anything to do with you or not. But lie, deny, hide and do whatever else it takes when things go wrong or come out into the open. What Rotherham teaches us is that people in senior public sector roles are willing to cover up and deny their responsibilities when it comes to the rape, torture and abuse of hundreds of children, so we shouldn't expect any different standards of behaviour from them when it comes to less serious issues. I feel sorry for those in front line roles who try to do things right or whistleblow. Many of them lions led by donkeys. grey_man
  • Score: 4

10:04am Sun 31 Aug 14

TobyW1973 says...

But I thought crime was falling around Knutsford and Cheshire as per 2 articles I have read here recently? Surely this can't be to do with the manipulation of statistics?
But I thought crime was falling around Knutsford and Cheshire as per 2 articles I have read here recently? Surely this can't be to do with the manipulation of statistics? TobyW1973
  • Score: 1

11:00am Mon 1 Sep 14

fishsta says...

Well, that explains why several incidents I've reported of assault, attempted murder, harassment and stalking haven't been dealt with appropriately.
Well, that explains why several incidents I've reported of assault, attempted murder, harassment and stalking haven't been dealt with appropriately. fishsta
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree