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chaos4122

Crime, crime and more crime

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chaos4122

My force has recently had an HMIC inspection and as a result we have been told that crimes are being missed.
 
One of the areas for improvement is domestic crimes.
 
Now, the powers that be are worried saying that we are not criming enough....

So an email has been circulated saying that....

"if a victim has cause to call the police due to a domestic argument then most likely a crime has been committed in the respect of common assault WITHOUT battery"....

The thinking is that as the victim has been placed in fear enough to call the police so it should be crimed as such.
 
Is this kind of thinking taking away common sense policing and discretion. Is this going to put extra strain and workload on officers to crime every little thing they come across, spending hours in the office instead of being out and about..
 
I mean, there is a fine line between common assault without battery and a breach of the peace.... And we don't crime a bop...


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Lone Wolf

The decision to record a crime will be based upon the facts as told by the victim or in certain cases a person who is reporting on their behalf.

It's not about common sense or discretion; if the facts as told don't amount to a crime then we should not record a crime.

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Hyphen

We have this in place now. It can be quite problematic when it gets confused with evidence led proactive ‘investigations’ for DV crimes. 

If it is a verbal argument then that’s all it is and recorded as such.

If there is any mention of feeling threatened, going for anyone without making contact then a common assault must be recorded. 

Examples can be one party moved towards the other during an argument, was threatening in the way they were shouting at the caller etc.

Usually this is from what is on the log, irrespective of what is actually said on police arrival.

Also threats to commit criminal damage is another one, Ive had a few where teenagers have made alleged comments to parents where they’ll ‘smash the house up’ or smash up their rooms etc. Again police attend and deal with the situation, no allegations made and usually there are issues like recently I had a young guy with severe autism. A crime still needs to be recorded and justified why there is no further investigation.

Its been discussed quite in depth before about NCRS and the rules for crime recording. Unfortunately if a victim or perceived victim makes a comment or allegation it does need to be recorded.

Where it really matters is the approach of supervision and how much common sense can be applied to dealing with the crime report and whether it can be filed.

Criming itself isn’t too bad where I am, I ca do it on the move and crime a common assault in about 5/10 minutes.

 

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Cathedral Bobby

Is is also bearing in mind whether the complainant wants to take it forward. They may report an assault but if they don't want to take it further then there is no crime.

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Mac7

This is shocking. If a victim has cause to call the police then most likely a crime has occurred? Really? And this has been through Chief officers and alike to and decided this is the way forward? It beggars belief.

 

The person deciding whether a crime has been committed should be the attending officer using their training, their judgement. Not someone reading it from a log or the HMIC. I'd love to know how the HMIC decide all these crimes have been missed. Or is it them dip sampling again and multiplying it through a formula to come to a conclusion that we're missing crimes!

 

So if a crime "is most likely to have been committed" are you expected to make an arrest as well? I like to know the CPS's stance on this.

 

What I find concerning about this kind of policy is that people are wrongly being labelled as suspects on crime reports (possibly unknowingly as well), which could affect future job prospects or anything else that requires an enhanced CRB.

 

I find this abhorrent.

 

 

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Sceptre
22 minutes ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

Is is also bearing in mind whether the complainant wants to take it forward. They may report an assault but if they don't want to take it further then there is no crime.

No, if they have reported a crime then it must be recorded. If they don't wish to support a prosecution and we aren't considering an evidence-led prosecution it should be finalised with the appropriate outcome depending on whether the suspect is identified or not.

@chaos4122, I suspect the problem with a lot of the jobs HMIC inspect is that the update isn't sufficient to satisfy them that no crime has occurred. A breach of the peace involves the prospect of harm, through some assault, affray or other disturbance - if a job is updated along the lines of "this has been a breach of the peace" then it really doesn't make it clear whether anyone apprehended immediate and unlawful personal violence or not. 

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Hyphen
42 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

So if a crime "is most likely to have been committed" are you expected to make an arrest as well? I like to know the CPS's stance on this.

 

What I find concerning about this kind of policy is that people are wrongly being labelled as suspects on crime reports (possibly unknowingly as well), which could affect future job prospects or anything else that requires an enhanced CRB.

 

I find this abhorrent.

 

 

The official line is that there should be an evidence led approach. Persons are often arrested based on this and at the very least VA interviewed regarding the comments made on the log and then reviewed by supervision.

Even if nothing further due to there being no prospect of an evidence led investigation then the person is recorded as a suspect against the crime without any formal allegation as such.

As I mentioned a lot of this depends on your supervision and how much common sense can be applied to the situation.

Whether this impacts on CRB type checks I have no idea.

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Mac7

There has to be some evidence in order for an arrest or a crime to be recorded. I agree with evidence lead or victim less prosecutions, but the OP suggests common assaults are being recorded where the only evidence is a call to the police.

I was asked to write a report for an enhanced CRB following an intel log I put in about a person who later applied to work with vulnerable people.

By recording crimes (and therefore suspects) because they've "most likely" occurred but without substance, to me, is akin to unnecessarily criminalising people.

I am slowly becoming liberal in my old age but sometimes the wider picture is not considered.

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Cathedral Bobby
1 hour ago, Sceptre said:

No, if they have reported a crime then it must be recorded. If they don't wish to support a prosecution and we aren't considering an evidence-led prosecution it should be finalised with the appropriate outcome depending on whether the suspect is identified or not.

If you ultimately don't have a complainant, or haven't witnessed a criminal offence yourself, then whether there is a crime is dubious. For example a publican rings 111 saying a person has been assaulted in their pub. You arrive and there is a young man with bruising and bust nose. You speak to him and he tells you he has just been hit by an ex's new boyfriend who has since left the pub. You ask if he wants to make a statement. He says he doesn't want to take it further and as far as he is concerned the matter is over. I do not see why you would crime this unless the publican or others wish to make a complaint relating to public order offences, which you can subsequently evidence. The judgment is yours, not the inspectorates.

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Hyphen
1 minute ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

If you ultimately don't have a complainant, or haven't witnessed a criminal offence yourself, then whether there is a crime is dubious. For example a publican rings 111 saying a person has been assaulted in their pub. You arrive and there is a young man with bruising and bust nose. You speak to him and he tells you he has just been hit by an ex's new boyfriend who has since left the pub. You ask if he wants to make a statement. He says he doesn't want to take it further and as far as he is concerned the matter is over. I do not see why you would crime this unless the publican or others wish to make a complaint relating to public order offences, which you can subsequently evidence. The judgment is yours, not the inspectorates.

The issue with the NCRS system and rules is as soon as a victim confirms an assault took place it must be recorded. In this situation though the crime would be filed as he doesn’t support a prosecution.

If he had left or didn’t confirm any assault then ultimately it is a third party report and wouldn’t need to be crimed.

Pretty much everything gets crimed now days other than concern jobs. 

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Hyphen

The issue with these DV crimes is if someone calls police and on the log says a partner had been threatening towards them then this would get crimed. You might arrive and they don’t want to make anything of it or support but potentially the suspect would need to be spoken to regarding the ‘allegation’. If they deny it then it would be unlikely to go any further in the absence of any other evidence.

 

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Cathedral Bobby
Just now, Hyphen said:

The issue with the NCRS system and rules is as soon as a victim confirms an assault took place it must be recorded. In this situation though the crime would be filed as he doesn’t support a prosecution.

If he had left or didn’t confirm any assault then ultimately it is a third party report and wouldn’t need to be crimed.

Pretty much everything gets crimed now days other than concern jobs. 

I know, it is frustrating and time consuming. But I suppose it captures a statistic, which somewhere will be used against the police when they look at crime recorded and crimes solved. I hope things are counted the right way.

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chaos4122

In my area crimes are already... Erm... Crimed... As soon as someone rings up.

Basically an operator or someone who is reading the log can crime the incident just on what is initially described by the victim at the time of calling the police... So if someone ring up reporting a domestic and there is a sound of arguing / disturbance... Then this incident could be crimed as a 39 assault before an officer even gets to scene...

And... If the same couple was out in the streets then this could be crimed as a section 4 or 5 POA...



Very interesting about children making threats to "smash up my room"... Is it a crime to damage / threaten to damage your own property...

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Mac7
In my area crimes are already... Erm... Crimed... As soon as someone rings up.

Basically an operator or someone who is reading the log can crime the incident just on what is initially described by the victim at the time of calling the police... So if someone ring up reporting a domestic and there is a sound of arguing / disturbance... Then this incident could be crimed as a 39 assault before an officer even gets to scene...

And... If the same couple was out in the streets then this could be crimed as a section 4 or 5 POA...



Very interesting about children making threats to "smash up my room"... Is it a crime to damage / threaten to damage your own property...



There needs to be an emoji for Banging my head against the wall.

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Sceptre
Just now, Cathedral Bobby said:

If you ultimately don't have a complainant, or haven't witnessed a criminal offence yourself, then whether there is a crime is dubious. For example a publican rings 111 saying a person has been assaulted in their pub. You arrive and there is a young man with bruising and bust nose. You speak to him and he tells you he has just been hit by an ex's new boyfriend who has since left the pub. You ask if he wants to make a statement. He says he doesn't want to take it further and as far as he is concerned the matter is over. I do not see why you would crime this unless the publican or others wish to make a complaint relating to public order offences, which you can subsequently evidence. The judgment is yours, not the inspectorates.

I'm afraid your understanding of the national crime recording standards is a little out of date. If all you had was the pub landlord's word, and the male denied having been assaulted then you wouldn't crime it as it is a third party report not confirmed by the victim, however as soon as he says that he has been assaulted it must be crimed - it has happened after all, so common sense says it should feature in the statistics. Whether he wishes to give a statement or not is immaterial, and it is not a question of using one's judgement but following the rules which require it to be recorded. 

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