West Midlands Police has been accused of letting victims down, in a damning report which says it is failing to record tens of thousands of crimes including sexual assaults on children each year.
An assessment by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) rated the police force — one of Britain’s largest —”inadequate” for its recording of crimes.
Looking at the period from July last year to January 2017, the report found that around 83.8 per cent of crimes reported to West Midlands Police are recorded, leaving 16.2 per cent — or more than 38,800 — unrecorded.
Crimes that police are failing to record include sexual offences, rape, and domestic abuse, according to the watchdog, which highlighted the recording rate for violent crime — 77.9 per cent — as a particular cause for concern.
“This means that on too many occasions, the force is failing victims of crime,” stated the report, which estimated that more than 13,600 violent crimes may be going unrecorded each year.
West Midlands Police was also found to only record 91.4 per cent of sex crimes that are reported to it, which was judged to be a significant failing of the force by HMICFRS given the serious nature of sexual crimes.
The police watchdog revealed that amongst the reported crimes which went unrecorded were sexual assaults against adults and children, and sexual activity with a child, according to the Birmingham Mail.
No Prosecution Necessary: UK Police Force Issues over 100 Cautions for Rape, Sexual Assault Against Children https://t.co/4RuGNj6cuM
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 6, 2017
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “I am very disappointed with the result of our recent inspection into how West Midlands Police records crime.
“We estimate that the force fails to record over 38,800 crimes every year.
“This is not just low-level crime: it includes sexual offences and violent crime.
“Not only does this mean the force cannot fully understand the demand it faces to plan accordingly, but it also means that victims could potentially be at more risk of harm, without the required support.”
However, West Midlands deputy chief constable Louisa Rolfe said: “While we broadly accept the data underpinning the report, it is certainly not accurate to claim 38,000 crimes have occurred and not been recorded.
“A significant number of these incidents were recorded on our systems but just not classified correctly.”
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) June 11, 2017
Following last year’s referendum, West Midlands Police vowed to take a “zero tolerance” stance against hate crime, with Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson declaring that “tackling the crime is a priority” of the force.
On Wednesday, Breitbart London reported on how campaigners and MPs have spoken out after it was revealed that Hampshire Police have handed more than 100 cautions for rape, sexual assaults against children, and other serious offences in the last five years.