Last May GWENT'S Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston told the Argus the Gwent force may not be recording crime properly. He believes in some cases officers are logging incidents as less serious ones, which are not recorded as crimes, because of pressure from above.
There was no sign of ‘pressure from above’ in the review of the statistics published today. On the contrary the investigators report:
‘The review found no evidence among investigating officers that high interest in crime statistics by their superiors affected their decision-making. The fact that there is no evidence of overt influence on crime recording is significant and the people of Gwent, the police and crime commissioner and chief constable can have confidence in Gwent Police’s crime figures."
The previous Chief Constable was pressurized to resign by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The only serious charge against her made by the PPC was that she was manipulating the crimes statistics. This review exornerates her and an apology is due.
The report confirms a massive 90% satisfaction rating of the police from Gwent Crime victims. The new Chief Constable Jeff Farrar strongly backed the accuracy of the figures on Wednesday. He suggested an independent person should be responsible for crime figures.
Mr Farrar said: “When the service is judged by an inspection process that uses a league table, or when it’s judged by a media headline, there’s an inevitability that can drive the wrong behaviour.”
Mr Farrar said the internal review found that there were two reasons why crime statistic rules weren’t followed – either because officers through they were helping the public deliver a service or had a lack of knowledge or understanding of the rules.