Senior Hertfordshire cop: ‘Crime going up is not a bad thing’

PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 February 2014

Assistant chief constable Alison Roome-Gifford

Assistant chief constable Alison Roome-Gifford

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“Crime going up is not a bad thing” a senior police officer has claimed in the wake of national controversy.

"There is no achievement or success in crime reduction if it is not based in the reality of people reporting crime to us and have the confidence to do so."

Deputy Chief Constable Alison Roome-Gifford

Deputy Chief Constable Alison Roome-Gifford made the comment at last week’s meeting of the police and crime panel in a report about crime data ‘fiddling’.

The senior officer did not believe anyone was corrupt in the constabulary and said she does not think “people come to work to not investigate crime”.

But panel member Neil Harden asked the officer about a time when a driver nearly forced him off the road and he was threatened.

It was recorded as a non-crime, and the Dacorum councillor told the panel police were “reluctant to take down the details”.

Deputy Chief Constable Roome-Gifford said: “Without knowing the full case, on the face of it, that would have been a public order offence incident, which is a crime.

“On the face of it that is how it should have been dealt with, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t, that should have been crimed.”

Commissioner David Lloyd, who was at the meeting, had asked Chief Constable Andy Bliss to look into data fiddling after a former Scotland Yard boss told MPs figure massaging was the “biggest scandal coming our way”.

Deputy Chief Constable Roome-Gifford looked into the issue and published a report.

She said: “There is no achievement or success in crime reduction if it is not based in the reality of people reporting crime to us and have the confidence to do so.

“There are times where crime goes down where it is not good news if people are ringing the police and nothing is happening and they have lost faith in the criminal justice system.

“Crime going up isn’t a bad thing. I’m not saying that as spin, I’m saying that as Deputy Chief Constable.”

The panel, which holds police and crime commissioner David Lloyd to account, asked questions about crime recording and what constitutes a non-crime.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “I’m confident crimes are recorded and we have a robust procedure and the report shows that as well, but I need to keep asking questions.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary is set to examine the force’s procedures in the spring.


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