Police to change way crime is recorded

Tony Lloyd

Tony Lloyd

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CRIME recording is to be revamped by the government in an attempt to reassure the public alleged offences are adequately investigated by police.

Currently, crimes which do not lead to charges are recorded as “undetected” with no further details given, but a new system to be introduced across the country this year will change this.

Last year, unresolved crimes made up 59 per cent of the 11,870 crimes committed in the borough between March, 2012, and March last year.

At the time, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said most of these 7,050 crimes had not been resolved because of a lack of evidence or an unwillingless by witnesses to give evidence, which is common when dealing with crimes of a sensitive nature such as domestic and sexual abuse.

The new categorisation means police must provide extra information into why no further action was taken, detailing whether this was due to a lack of evidence or the victim not supporting further police action.

It will also be recorded if the case has been dropped due to the alleged offender dying, being too ill to stand trial, or being too young to be prosecuted, or if the prosecution was not in the public interest.

Policing minister Damian Green said: “Recording offences as ‘undetected’ leaves victims feeling neglected and police investigations misunderstood — it does not properly reflect police work and that is why we are scrapping it.

“By introducing new categories, the police will be able to demonstrate the hard work they do and increase public transparency in policing.”

Government ministers believe the new system will be useful in cases involving allegations of historic sex abuse.

The framework has already come into use in Humberside and will be rolled out across Grea- ter Manchester from April.

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner, said he welcomed the changes.

He added: “They bring more accountability and transparency into local policing, giving the public reassurance as to what the police are doing to tackle crime.

“The current use of the term undetected implies that nothing has happened with that crime, when actually it means a whole range of things, such as the use of restorative justice.

“These new categories will help provide that clarity to the public.”

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