Gwent Police failed to record 5,100 crimes in a year, the police watchdog has estimated.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services rated the force as “requires improvement” for the way it records reported crimes, in its latest inspection report, published in December 2018.
While the watchdog said Gwent Police had improved its recording methods, inspectors estimated that 9% of crimes which were reported to officers, 5,100 incidents, failed to be recorded.
These included reports of rape, assault and domestic abuse.
The report said that Gwent Police had made a concerted effort to improve crime recording. However the force is still failing some victims.
“We estimate that the force fails to record over 5,100 reported crimes each year,” it said.
“Incorrect recording decisions are often caused by officers and staff not understanding the crime recording rules.
“Frontline officers don’t always identify and record some violent crimes, particularly those arising from domestic abuse incidents.”
HMICFRS found that 89% of violent crimes reported were recorded, leaving 1,800 reported crimes unrecorded. The inspection also stated 93% of reported sex offences were recorded, with 90 incidents unrecorded.
The watchdog audited 1,247 crime reports between November 2017 and April 2018.
Among findings, inspectors concluded seven of 92 audited rape reports were misclassified or unrecorded.
However, they rated the force as “outstanding” regarding the leadership and culture required to improve crime recording.
The report said: “The force has strong, demonstrable leadership around crime recording expectations and a clear commitment to get crime recording right.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent Jeff Cuthbert said: “The report praises Gwent Police for its ethical, victim-focused crime recording, in particular the efforts which have been made around improving first point of contact.
“I do acknowledge that there are some areas in which Gwent Police does need to improve upon, primarily around training and awareness raising, and the report makes a number of recommendations for improvement.
“I will discuss these findings with the Chief Constable and continue to monitor progress against all recommendations in order to ensure crime is recorded effectively and that victims of crime in Gwent receive the best possible service.”