Homophobic crime rises, reported rape not recorded as crime

Two troubling sets of crime figures have been released in recent weeks.

Firstly, recorded homophobic crime has risen dramatically across London, with Lewisham producing a 115% rise in the last year, from 32 cases in 2013 to 69 cases in 2014. The figures come courtesy of ITV News.

Secondly, the News Shopper reports that one-fifth of reported rapes in Lewisham borough were not recorded by the police as crimes as part of a city-wide pattern. The article says:

Figures given to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) by the CPS have shown police categorised a significant number of rape allegations across London as ‘crime-related incidents’ or ‘no crimes’ – this means they were not investigated unless new evidence emerged. A spokesman for the Met Police said: "We voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who took the decision to return it to the Met to be looked at locally."


Martin said...

Before I moved to Brockley I was assaulted in a different borough on a Tuesday evening (it was quite serious - I was bleeding and I still have a scar on my face). I called the Met, they told me that somebody would come to the 'crime scene' shortly, but what turned out later the person who took my call made absolutely no reference to it in the system. I am worried this is what happens to most of less serious crimes all over London.

we-hit-our-targets said...

Victims often have a dispiriting experience trying to persuade Lewisham police that a crime has been committed. They seem to have an incentive not to record an incident as a crime if there is the slightest element of doubt.

I guess they do this for the same reason other public services such as the NHS and Teachers adopt questionable practices: they are anxious to reach statistical targets by which their performance is judged.

Sad to say we have only two choices: either trust them to deliver the service we want and risk them sweeping bad things under the carpet. Or try to measure them and risk them cooking the books by contracting or stretching definitions.

I guess eventually these anomalies are picked up in other surveys where the police don't mark their own work. I am not sure what the answer is, but I know it hurts a lot to be the victim of a 'no crime'.

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