New PCC wants a review of force’s crime recording after controversy and arrests of serving officers.
A newly elected police and crime commissioner has requested an external probe of how her force deals with crime recording issues – after raising concerns about recent investigations into serving officers.
Kent PCC Ann Barnes said the investigation, which will be conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will focus on the force’s definition of reported crime, how detections were accounted for and how crime figures were collated.
Kent Police’s crime recording hit the headlines last month when five detectives were arrested and suspended for allegedly pressuring suspects to accepting extra offences as TICs.
Ian Pointon, Chairman of Kent Police Federation, later gave a speech saying he was concerned that the use of detection and arrest targets was placing “enormous pressure” on officers and impacting on how crime was recorded.
He cited a separate case in which two detectives resigned after it emerged they had altered data to ensure they both met their monthly arrest target.
Mrs Barnes said: “The recent investigations and arrests of serving officers in Maidstone have caused concern but I remain totally convinced that the overwhelming majority of officers and staff are of the highest possible integrity.
“It is in the interests of the chief constable and everyone involved that an investigation is conducted to bottom out this issue once and for all.”
Mrs Barnes told this website she regarded the setting of targets for crime reduction and detection as an operational matter for the chief constable to determine.
She added: “I am not interfering with operational policing at all. It is for the chief to set any targets.”
Mrs Barnes added the issue of crime recording was “rambling on” and she hoped the HMIC review would help draw a line under it –as well as helping the force’s “really hardworking” officers get on with their work.
She said the review was expected to be completed by the end of the January next year and the result would be published in February.
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