Thames Valley received a bruising report last week, suggesting one in five offences were not being properly recorded.
This adds up to more than 35,000 crimes reported to the force a year - including assaults and rapes.
The damning report, published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary last Wednesday 15, brands the force ‘inadequate’ in terms of its accuracy when recording crimes and says many victims are being let down.
Two forces:Thames Valley and North Yorkshire – were singled out for their “inadequate” crime recording by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
Thousands of reported crimes including rape and domestic abuse are going unrecorded by police.
The shortcomings mean victims are being failed, inspectors said.
Matthew Barber, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley: “I am disappointed with the findings of the HMICFRS Thames Valley Police Crime Data Integrity report.
Clearly, there is work that needs to be done by Thames Valley Police to improve the level and accuracy of crime recording.
The force records around 80 per cent of crimes reported to it - but thousands of crimes each year go unrecorded.
Inspectors found that 13,900 (30.8 per cent) reports of violent crime and 490 (9.8 per cent) reports of sex offences go unrecorded each year.
They also examined 53 vulnerable victim records. Of those they found that 20 should have been recorded and only nine had been. The missing eleven crimes included offences against children as well as adults.
The report also notes that officers and staff do not always believe victims who they perceive to be suffering from mental health issues.
Frontline officers and supervisors have a poor level of understanding of how the crime-recording system they rely on works.
The report says the force must promptly improve upon its accuracy when recording and provide victims with the ‘service they deserve’.
Matthew Barber, “It’s vital that victims feel assured that on reporting a crime, they will be supported appropriately and I will be seeking reassurance from the Force that the way in which crime has been recorded by Thames Valley Police has not had an impact on the level of service victims receive.
"The PCC and I will be monitoring improvements by the Force to ensure victims are being offered the support they are entitled to and deserve.
“The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner continues to work to provide support for victims of crime through ‘Victims First’.
"The PCC funds services offering emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime who require additional help and any victim of crime can receive support through Victims First regardless of whether or not they choose to report the crime to the Police”.
Commenting on the report John Campbell, Deputy Chief Constable, said: "This reports makes for unwelcome reading especially for a force that performs so well when measured in terms of our effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.
"We accept the findings of HMICFRS and will be working hard over the coming months to ensure that we address their concerns. The matters subject to review were recorded as 'incidents' rather than crimes, but there is no suggestion that we failed to respond appropriately to the calls or to deal with the matters in hand.
"I am pleased that HMICFRS confirmed that they found no issues of unethical behaviour and I can assure the communities of Thames Valley that every day, every officer is working hard to keep you safe from harm and to protect victims of crime."