Crime Reporting

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6 July 2015.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 2:30, 6 July 2015

What recent guidelines her Department has issued on requirements in crime reporting.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The Home Office issues strict guidelines on how police should record crimes reported to them. They must comply with those guidelines. In April, the rules were amended to ensure that all crimes are now recorded within 24 hours of being reported to them, especially if those crimes are reported by carers, professionals and social workers, as well as by the victims.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

There is concern that local police are having to report minor fights between siblings as crimes—a waste of police time when some sort of caution or discretion would be much more helpful. Will my right hon. Friend review the guidelines to make sure we are not wasting police time?

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The most important thing is that people have the confidence to come forward and report crimes such as domestic violence, which was dramatically under-reported over the years. If that has an effect on crime statistics, so be it. The police already have the discretion to give cautions. It is up to them what they do. We want people to come forward and report these crimes.

Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Labour, Sefton Central

Both reporting and fighting crime have become much harder in Merseyside now there are 600 fewer police officers since the Minister’s Government came to power. Is not the real guilty party when it comes to running down the police the Minister and his colleagues, who have run down police numbers and taken away their ability to fight crime?

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

I do not know if the hon. Gentleman has noticed, but since 2010 crime in his constituency has fallen. That is because the police are doing fantastic work and a great job with less assets and less money.