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93% of crime reports recorded accurately and within 24 hours

Chief Constable James Vaughan
Chief Constable James Vaughan

Dorset Police has been rated as “good” in a recent inspection released on 24th July by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The rating comes after an independent inspection concluded that crimes in Dorset are recorded with a “high level of accuracy”. This was the first inspection since 2014.

Based on the crimes reported between 1st March and 31st August 2019, inspectors estimated that 93.3 per cent were correctly recorded.

Dorset Police was complimented for outstanding leadership, placing victims at the “heart” of crime recording, and providing processes which ensure that the victims’ side of the story is heard, believed and represented accurately in reports.

In the time since the last inspection, it was said that Dorset Police made good progress when it comes to leadership, training and performance management.

The report also stated that 96.2% of sexual offences and 100% of reported rape and slavery incidents were recorded accurately.

I am delighted with the findings and particularly pleased that our commitment to believing and supporting victims has been highlighted.

I have set a high ambition for the Force and our aim is to provide an outstanding police service across Dorset with a particular focus on services to vulnerable people. We will continue this work to improve and innovate.

It is pleasing that the report recognises the efforts that have gone into creating a positive culture where victims receive the support and protection they need. This is an important factor in the increased confidence among the public in coming forward to us.

James Vaughan, Chief Constable, Dorset Police

Areas where Dorset Police lacked; ie. where crimes went unreported, were due to some staff being unfamiliar with certain changes which were introduced in 2018. This includes the way that the force records malicious communications, stalking and harassment.

The Force has made good progress in improving its crime recording since our 2014 inspection. The leadership team is clearly committed to good crime recording. This has made sure that more victims receive the service they are entitled to and can access support and safeguarding where needed.

We are confident that the Force’s leadership and governance arrangements will enable it to address the remaining areas for improvement identified in this inspection.

HMICFRS

This is excellent news, particularly as these figures come just a week after new ONS data revealed a 2.3 per cent drop in recorded crime in the county.

Victims should be reassured that their needs are, quite rightly, being put at the heart of how the Force records crime, and that they are being believed and supported.

It is particularly encouraging that such high levels of accuracy have been found in relation to crimes in which the victims are especially vulnerable, such as rape, sexual assault and modern slavery.

I welcome the inspection’s findings that strong leadership, robust governance and good quality training have contributed to these high levels of accuracy, and I will continue to work with senior officers to ensure all victims get the service they should expect.

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset
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