The crime statistics released today (Thursday, January 25) reflect the force’s ethical approach to crime recording.
The force’s determination to be compliant with the National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) resulted in the introduction of new robust processes. These processes, which were introduced after an audit in 2016, maintain the force’s ethical compliance in line with the national standard, and as a result they will now be consistently recording crimes at a higher rate than previously.
The number of incidents recorded in the county is broadly the same as the previous year, but the way they record crime has changed, leading to more being recorded as crimes.
Deputy Chief Constable, Rachel Barber, said: “We continue to work hard, putting victims first, to ensure that crimes are recorded accurately. We are working with our partners to not only prevent and detect crime, particularly that which causes the most harm, but also to make sure crimes are referred and recorded appropriately. We are identifying victims of crime, providing the appropriate support and referral to specialist services and dealing with offenders effectively. This is reflected in our statistics.”
The increases in recorded sexual offences reflects a national drive to encourage victims to report crimes against them, no matter when they took place.
It is very much welcomed by the force as it shows that victims continue to have confidence in the system and we are absolutely committed, despite current resource pressures locally and nationally to confront some very serious previously unreported offences, particularly those committed against children.
Increases in violent crimes in Nottinghamshire are also broadly due to the police’s robust processes. While victims received the appropriate service, some incidents were previously closed without a crime number and are now being recorded as crimes. The audit in 2016 resulted in many of these crimes being retrospectively added, rather than when they were actually reported.
DCC Barber added: “The most important thing is that we are continuing to do the right thing for victims, we want to ensure the public get a service that is right for them.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, said: “Nationally, all forces reported a rise in recorded crime, Nottinghamshire is not on its own.I believe that some of it can be attributed to the long-running austerity measures and some is the result of changes in recording rules. I am confident that the way in which crimes are counted in Nottinghamshire meets the national standards, but this does lead to an increase in the number of crimes recorded.
“Nationally, £2.3 billion has been cut from police funding since 2010 which equates to a 25% reduction. There are now 20,000 fewer police officers on our streets which is the lowest level for 30 years.
“In Nottinghamshire, the picture is much the same with £54m wiped off the force budget during austerity. Police numbers have fallen from around 2500 to 1841 today. The inevitable consequence of fewer officers and less resources is a rise in crime. Criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, making crime investigation increasingly complex.
“Given the circumstances, it is no surprise that crime is going up. It’s the result of a perfect storm. That is why we have been lobbying the Government, with some success, for more funding and we have a programme of recruitment already underway to take officer numbers up to a figure approaching 2000 over the next two years. These officers will strengthen our neighbourhood policing teams, boosting the ability to gather local intelligence and prevent crime.”