POLICE in Lancashire have significantly improved the recording of crime in the county, an inspection has found.

But more work must be done to improve the recording of rape, domestic abuse and crimes committed against vulnerable people, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

In July 2017, the inspecting body concluded that the force’s crime-recording arrangements were not acceptable and gave an overall judgment of inadequate, with more than 20,000 victims of crime without appropriate support.

But a report on a follow-up inspection published today shows 93.3 per cent of crimes are properly recorded, compared to just 84.3 per cent in 2017.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Phil Gormley said: “I am very pleased to see just how much Lancashire Constabulary has improved. In our last inspection we graded the force as ‘inadequate’.

"Therefore it is very encouraging to see the rate and pace of improvement in a relatively short amount of time.

“Whilst there is still work to do to ensure that all crimes are accurately recorded, our inspection revealed that the force has put in place a range of improvements at all levels."

"It has successfully applied all the recommendations contained in our 2017 report, as well as implementing its own initiatives and measures.

“These achievements have been spearheaded by the chief officer leadership.

"Last year, the force appointed a temporary assistant chief constable to lead a programme to improve how crime is recorded. "Additionally, the deputy chief constable launched the ‘Record for Victims’ campaign, which aims to make sure the needs of victims are at the forefront of the crime-recording decisions taken by officers and staff.

"We also saw a notable improvement in crime cancellation decisions made by the force’s designated decision managers.

“All officers and staff should feel proud of these achievements, which ultimately mean a better service for victims of crime in Lancashire.”

Deputy chief constable Sunita Gamblin said: “I’m really pleased with the findings of the report which recognises the huge amount of hard work our officers and staff have done to improve what we do to record crimes – and by doing so support victims, one of the most important things we do as a police force.

“After the 2017 inspection, we knew that we were not providing the service for victims that the people of Lancashire deserve. Since then the Constabulary has focussed more than ever on the importance of crime recording from a victim's perspective. Getting crime recording right builds trust and confidence across the communities that we look after.

“Every time we receive a report of crime having taken place in Lancashire, it is vitally important that we record it. Firstly to ensure that victims of crime get access to the right support they need and secondly, so that we can fully understand the nature and types of crimes that take place in Lancashire and provide the right service to those who need it.”

Lancashire's police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: "This is a fantastic achievement by Lancashire Constabulary which is testament to the considerable work has been undertaken to improve how the force record crime and support victims."

"Following the initial report I have worked with the Chief Constable to ensure the inspectorate’s recommendations were addressed and I'm pleased that the additional resources we have invested into scrutinising and improve crime-recording decision making and data quality have been recognised.

"Effective crime recording is vital to ensure victims of crime receive the service they deserve and that the most vulnerable people in society are being safeguarded. It also enables us to prioritise effective investigation of crime and inform the public of the scale, scope and risk of crime in Lancashire.

"I will continue to scrutinise this important area of work and can assure residents that Lancashire Police remains fully focused on responding to and investigating crimes, with an improved targeting capability to help neighbourhood officers tackle offenders causing the most concern to local communities."