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Crime investigations - 450/18

Date Responded 07 June 2018

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1)      Please could you provide me with figures for the number of crimes reported to your police force which were not subsequently investigated for each of the following years; 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017?

‘Not subsequently investigated’ can mean crimes which were reported to the police and either ‘screened out’ for further investigation in line with the Force’s Crime Assessment Principles, or where a decision is taken to not investigate a crime or follow-up after an initial assessment 

a)       Please could you break this data down into types of crime listed below, so that it shows the figures for the following Offence Groups, Sub-Groups or Offences as per the Home Office Offense Classification Index:

1)      All Crime 

Violence against the person

Homicide

Violence with injury

Violence without injury 

Sexual Offences

Rape

Others sexual offences 

Robbery

Robbery of personal Property

Robbery of Business Property 

Burglary

Burglary – residential

Burglary – business and community

Vehicle Offences

Aggravated Vehicle taking

Interfering with motor vehicle

Theft from motor vehicles

Theft or Taking of Motor vehicle

Theft

Bicycle theft

Other theft

Shoplifting

Theft from person

Arson and Criminal Damage

Arson

Criminal damage

Drug offences

Drag trafficking

Possession of Drugs 

Possession of Weapons

Other firearm offenses

Other knife offences

Possession of article blade or point

Possession firearm

Possession firearm with intent

Possession other weapons

Public Order offences

Other state offence or public order

Public fear alarm or distress

Racist and religious aggravated public fear alarm distress

Violent disorder 

2)  For each of these Offence Groups, Sub-Groups or Offences could you provide information on how many crimes were reported to your police force and investigated beyond the initial screening process? 

3) Please can you provide me with a copy of the assessment criteria used by your police force to determine whether a reported crime should be investigated further?

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Crime and Corporate Development Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as attached. 

1 and 2.  The data in the attached spread sheet shows the number of crimes broken down by Home Office classification which are screened out (Q1) or screened in/not applicable (Q2).  Crimes where the screening decision does not apply, for example in cases of Homicide, have been included in the count for Q2. The screening decision can change subject to new evidence coming to light for example, therefore this data is only correct as of the day it was extracted.  Please note changes in burglary recording methods have resulted in an increase in Burglary in a dwelling (now known as Burglary - residential).  For completeness the number of detections has also been provide

Northumbria police investigate crimes in line with the National Crime Recording Standards and  follow a set process.

Where there is to be no further investigation a crime will be Screened Out (Not the same as a "No Crime"), for example if the crime is detected, or there is no further information available to assist in the investigation.

If this is the case the allocating officer will show that the crime is finalised within the crime recording system. However, such a crime can be further investigated at any time and removed from Screened Out.

A crime requiring no further action can still be Screened In when further details are required to finalise the report, for example details of stolen property or damaged vehicles.

A crime will also be Screened In where there has been an arrest and the person has been bailed to return to a police station 

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material. 

3.  There is no specific assessment criteria for further investigation, but there are certain crimes where the victims would be classed as vulnerable. 

All crimes reported to Northumbria Police are subject to an assessment as to the proportionality of investigating it.  This assessment can, in cases involving volume crime such as criminal damage, be completed by the attending Police Constable.  However in the circumstances of any serious crime, or crimes which involve vulnerability, domestic violence and/or sexual offending, they will be reviewed by an officer of at least the rank of Police Sergeant.  

Contained within our electronic recording system is a mechanism for informing any decision on the investigation requirements for any crime. This ‘Investigation Summary’ is broken down into twelve different categories:

 

  1.  Victim(s) requirements/Incident Details – The victims views on the crime, or the needs of the victim (if they are uncooperative in the case of domestic violence for example) will be recorded within this section.
  2. Crime Scene details – What scene has been identified, what action taken, and any items recovered.
  3. House to house information – What parameters did the officer use to complete house to house enquiries and who was spoken to.
  4. CCTV/Telecoms/Electronic (Passive) Data – CCTV Parameters, what has been viewed and what has been seized.
  5. SOCO/Forensic Strategy – Was SOCO requested/rationale, any relevant marks or samples recovered, forensic submissions.
  6. Vehicles – Any vehicles used by offender  and actions taken to locate
  7. Witnesses/Statements Taken – Record all witnesses, an overview of their account, an assessment of how to best obtain their account and any special requirements or measures required.
  8. Suspect/Identification/Arrest Strategy – Details of any suspects, recorded first description of offender, tactical plan to locate suspect and details of any police markers to trace them.
  9. Other relevant information/3rd Party Material – Any other info, linked crimes or intelligence.
  10. Safeguarding – Outline what immediate, medium and long term action is required or has been taken to protect the victim from further offending.
  11. Media/Press Release – Consider use of local media, neighbourhood contacts and partners to trace witness, suspects.
  12. Other Enquiries – Any additional enquires undertaken which is not included in previous sections.

 

On completion of these twelve key area’s the officer would then be able to make a decision on whether this crime was to be investigated further and outline that strategy within:

  1. Action/Investigation Plan 

The use of this system ensures that officers dedicate their time to those crimes which warrant a full investigation and to those victims who need the support of the police following the commission of a crime.” 

Additionally I can advise that we are currently reviewing the investigation model and there are some investigation principles (Vulnerability, complexity, severity. Solvability) that are being defined to make the decision making more consistent and open.

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