Greater Manchester Police failed to record 80,000 crimes in 12-months and victims are being ‘denied justice’, according to a report by the police inspectorate. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) reported that about 220 crimes a day went unrecorded between in the 12 months up to June this year and that England’s second-largest police force failed to record one in five offences.
The position was found to be worse when recording violence against the person, including domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, where more than one in four crimes were not being recorded, potentially leaving many victims at risk. HMIC’s report discovered that the force continues to fail to respond appropriately to some people who are vulnerable and at risk and is continuing to miss some opportunities to safeguard victims and secure evidence at the scene, consequently putting victims at risk.
Deputy Chief Constable of GMP, Ian Pilling, told the BBC the force is ‘treating this matter very seriously‘. ‘We have a long-term strategic plan in place to address these issues and we are determined to make whatever other short-term improvements we need to make, and to make them as quickly as possible,’ he said.
Detectives have been found to be deciding to close cases without asking the victims what they wanted. The report found that in as many as seven in ten domestic cases, the victims’ wishes were not fully represented or considered before the crime was finalised.
The report highlights that officers prematurely closed some investigations on the basis that the victim did not support police action or are withdrawing support for police action, even when they did not have the necessary auditable evidence to confirm this is the case.
Inspector Zoe Billingham said she was ‘deeply troubled’ by the frequency of closed cases without a full investigation. ‘In too many of these cases, the force did not properly record evidence that the victim supported this decision,’ she said. She defined the findings as ‘extremely disappointing’ given that the force was asked to improve its victim support in 2016.