VIOLENT, domestic abuse and sexual offences are among the 3,300 reported crimes that Dyfed-Powys Police fails to record each year, according to Government inspectors.
The inspectors blamed a lack of understanding by police staff and limited supervision to correct errors, and said the force’s crime data recording required improvement.
Dyfed-Powys police and crime commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said he wanted to see higher standards, but added that improvements had been made.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the force had an 87.8% recording rate, based on analysis of six months of crime recording data.
It said: “We estimate the force is not recording over 3,300 reports of crime each year.
“These failings are potentially depriving many victims of the services they are entitled to.”
The average recording rate of reported violent crimes was 84.4%, meaning more than 1,500 reports of violent crime were not recorded each year.
The HMICFRS report singled out domestic abuse reporting as a concern, and made a number of recommendations to remedy the issue, including that all identified crimes are recorded without delay and in all cases within 24 hours.
Sexual offences recording was higher at 93%, while nearly every offence of taking and sharing indecent images of a young person had been recorded.
Six out of 68 rape reports had not been correctly recorded.
Inspectors acknowledged that, overall, improvements had been made since the previous inspection of the force in 2014. Measures have included the introduction of an incident, crime and allocation team.
Addressing the Dyfed-Powys police and crime panel, Mr Llywelyn said the rating from the inspectorate was “not the standard we should be at”.
But he said the previous inspection in 2014 had found a 67% recording rate.
“The improvements have been quite dramatic,” he said.
The Plaid Cymru commissioner said the force was looking into acquiring a new record management system, and added: “I’m confident that will see us improve even further.”
Panel member Professor Ian Roffe described the inspectorate’s report as “relatively mixed”.
He said: “Here we are with that old chestnut again — the recording of crime.”
Mr Llywelyn, who was elected to his post in 2016, said: “It is not unique to Dyfed-Powys Police. Crime data integrity is something every force is grappling with.”
The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked HMICFRS how Dyfed-Powys Police’s 87.7% recording level compared with other forces, but a spokesman said: “For various reasons related to how the data is collected and analysed from forces, comparing rates between forces is not something that we’d recommend.”