Questions over police’s Ribble Valley crime data

Crime: Concerns have been raised about recording
Crime: Concerns have been raised about recording
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Leading Ribble Valley councillors have questioned whether the borough really is the safest place in Lancashire.

It comes after an HMIC inspection report on Lancashire Constabulary revealed that police in the county had failed to record one in 10 crimes, and there were localised examples of pressure to under-record incidents.

Coun Kevin Horkin, chairman of Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said: “This is symptomatic of a growing disconnect between what is being reported and how safe residents of the Ribble Valley feel, particularly when evidence of violent crime against the person in the Ribble Valley are being reported in the local press with increasing frequency while burglary and incidences of low-level vandalism in play areas and bus shelters are viible signs that the picture is not as rosy as we would like to paint.”

Coun Ged Mirfin, the former chief data officer of Business Link North West, concurrs. He said: “I’ve noticed an increase in crimes against the property like burglary and vehicle break-ins in Billington. I haven’t seen such volumes previously.

“Local residents tell me that they are nervous, with some elderly residents confessing that they are scared that what has happened to their neighbours will happen to them.”

Both councillors also questioned why Clive Grunshaw, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner is currently advertising for a highly-salaried Director of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

They claim the role will involve scrutiny of the operational and corporate performance of Lancashire Constabulary, and say the successful applicant will be “doing Clive Grunshaw’s job for him”.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “The councillors can see for themselves the Lancashire picture in the published HMIC report into crime recording shows that in Lancashire in contrast to the national picture, the ‘quality and victim focus is the priority’.

“The report highlights that under the leadership of the Chief Constable and through my scrutiny, the people of Lancashire can be confident of the integrity of our crime recording figures.

“In terms of the advertising the role of director of my office, this will head up the staff team and ensure effective delivery of the Police and Crime Plan priorities defending frontline policing, protecting vulnerable people, supporting victims, and preventing reoffending.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: “We are pleased with the broadly positive findings of the report.

“Accurate crime recording is essential if the public are to have confidence in the police service and we have already started work on the areas identified for improvement in the report to ensure that the people of Lancashire can remain confident in the integrity of our crime recording figures.”