A report released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary today (Thursday) said the force is ‘inadequate’ when it comes to recording crime.

Almost one fifth of crimes reported to Devon and Cornwall Police are not being recorded each year according to inspectors.

A report released today (Thursday) by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Contabulary (HMIC) branded the force ‘inadequate’ when it comes to recording crime, with as many as 17,400 crimes not recorded.

The inspection results reveal violent crimes, reports of rape and other sexual offences are currently under-recorded, but said the force had made improvements ‘to the knowledge and understanding of crime-recording requirements’.

HMIC inspector Wendy Williams said: “In 2014, HMIC made recommendations to the force on how it should improve its crime recording practices.

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“We were disappointed to find that the force hadn’t made progress against many of these recommendations.

“We estimate that the force fails to record over 17,400 reported crimes each year.

“Victims of crime in Devon and Cornwall aren’t receiving a good enough service when they initially report crime.

“This is essential to ensure that victims of crime receive the right level of support they need at this difficult time.”

Devon and Cornwall Police’s deputy chief constable James Vaughan said he accepted better processes needed to be in place, but did not believe victims are not being supported.

“Recording crime in the right way is important as is ensuring that we have integrity in our data systems and how they are used,” he said. “However, what is more important to me is ensuring we give victims of crime and those coming into contact with their local police a first class service.

“We don’t believe that in the vast majority of circumstances we have not supported a victim.

“This is more about recording a crime, helping a victim, but then not properly updating systems around supplementary crimes related to the same investigation.”

“I support my staff in having the ability to use their expert knowledge, make common sense decisions and use their discretion in their work.

“We want our communities to have trust in their police force and my officers will always take any report of crime on its merits.”