Rapes, domestic violence, stalking and harassment cases go unrecorded by Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police slammed in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services report for 'failing victims' when recording crimes.
Thames Valley Police slammed in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services report for 'failing victims' when recording crimes.

Thames Valley Police has been slammed in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) report for 'failing victims' when recording crimes.

HMICFRS said Thames Valley Police (TVP) are failing victims of crime, including rape, domestic violence cases and vulnerable children.

The report says TVP 'needs to do more' to help those most vulnerable when crime is reported.

They said TVP were guilty of gaps in the crime recording process, with rape cases and domestic abuse were often incorrectly identified and recorded, and also stated that front line officers "had a poor understanding of crime recording".

The report is a second blow to TVP, as this was their second inspection since 2018 - where the force was slammed with the lowest possible score back in 2018.

Out of the 138 reports of rape to TVP, only 126 were recorded correctly.

From the 12 which were not logged correctly, seven had not even been recorded at all.

Inspectors reviewed 1,419 reports of crime reported to Thames Valley Police.

They found that 379 reports of domestic abuse should have been reported, yet figures show only 289 were.

Of the 90 crimes missing, 80 of those included serious offences such as: controlling behaviour, common assault. stalking, harassment and malicious communications.

One of these reports that was not logged was referenced in the report, that said:

"A report was made of domestic abuse, amounting to an offence of controlling and coercive behaviour.

"The victim was a repeat victim of domestic abuse. She was reporting that she was being subject to a forced marriage.

"To facilitate this, relatives were controlling all aspects of her life including travel and access to documents.

"The victim was extremely distressed by this behaviour and had attempted suicide the previous day. Police did not attend. Nor did they record any offences or provide information to suggest a crime did not occur."

The report also examined 25 vulnerable child records in which HMIC found seven crimes that should have been recorded.

These unrecorded offences included: sexual activity with a child under 13, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and an injury caused by a dangerous dog.

Commenting on the report Jason Hogg, Deputy Chief Constable, said:

“We recognise that listening to victims and recording reported crimes is the first step in providing a satisfactory service and underpins the quality of our investigations.

"The grading by HMICFRS of our crime data integrity falls far below the standards that we set ourselves or that the public rightly expect from us.

“HMICFRS have noted our determination to get crime recording right, that they are encouraged by the improvement that they found and that whilst there is still a way to go, that we are on the right track.

“Despite significant improvements we acknowledge that we have not progressed as far or as fast as we would have wished to.

“We have worked hard since HMICFRS published their last report and will continue to work to ensure that the improvements we make are sustainable.

“Last year we responded to over half a million calls for assistance; that is over 1,400 incidents a day and every day the members of this force come to work to fulfil only one purpose, and that is to keep the communities of Thames Valley safe from harm."

In Summary, HMICFRS said: "Thames Valley Police has made some progress with improving its crime recording standards since our 2017 inspection. This is welcome. But it now needs to work more quickly to address the outstanding causes of concern and areas for improvement identified in this and our previous report. We are confident the leadership and governance arrangements that it now has will enable it to do so."