Earlier we asked Kent's first Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes for her response to criticisms that the targets culture was in place while she was in charge of Kent Police authority.
"We will do better" the promise today from Kent's Chief Constable after a highly critical report showed one in ten crimes were not being recorded - or dealt with properly - including some rapes and other violent attacks.
The report was ordered by Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes after allegations that officers were deliberately chasing "easy" crimes to solve to meet performance targets.
At a public meeting today, the Commissioner and Chief Constable came face to face to explain what happens now.
David Johns was there and speaks to Ian Learmonth, Chief Constable of Kent, and Ian Pointon, Chairman of Kent Police Federation.
The Chief Constable of Kent is being questioned about a report into allegations of misleading crime figures, at a public meeting. The report was released yesterday by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes.
The Chief Constable of Kent will be questioned about a report into allegations of misleading crime figures, at a public meeting this morning. The report was released yesterday by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes.
Kent Police fails to record some crimes properly, and has an 'institutional bias' towards chasing performance targets instead of criminals. Fred and Sangeeta link to David Johns
– Ian Learmonth, Kent Police Chief Constable
I would like to reassure the people of Kent that we are fully committed to delivering a high quality service to victims of crime.
The report states that 9 out of 10 victims of crime receive a good service from us. I am disappointed this is not even better and will be doing all I can to improve on this.
Every officer and member of staff within Kent Police strives to deliver a high quality service to the communities of Kent every day. I am proud of their achievements and will continue to seek to make that even better."
– Kent Police Statement
There is nothing more important in policing than integrity. The force demands the highest standards, and the public has an absolute right to expect them.
Kent Police acknowledges the report and fully accepts the recommendations. We welcome HMIC’s finding that there is no evidence of bad practice or corruption. We are committed to delivering a high level of service to victims of crime in the county and the findings of this report have allowed us to focus on key areas so we can continue to improve our service."
– Zoë Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Eastern Region
Our inspection has found that appreciably more needs to be done by Kent Police to make sure its crime figures are as accurate as they should be. The force has been addressing the issue of crime recording and has made significant progress in this area. However, we found that the force had under-recorded approximately one in every ten crimes of the sample we examined – this means some victims are not getting the service they deserve...
A review of crime recording in Kent by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has found that much more needs to be done before people in Kent can be confident that the crime figures published by the force are accurate.
The inspection found that the public is being offered a good service from call handling staff but the processes that followed would sometimes deteriorate, as crimes were not being recorded correctly. HMIC concluded that there's been an institutional bias towards chasing targets for solving crime.
HMIC says the force has recognised the target-driven culture as a major problem and that the Chief Constable is determined to change this.
You can read the full report at http://www.hmic.gov.uk/publication/crime-recording-in-kent/
Ann Barnes has announced that Kent's team of Special Constables will have the police part of their council tax paid for them, by the force, from 2014.
She says although the money is what she calls "a drop in the ocean" it's an important thank-you gesture to the officers, who are all unpaid volunteers. David Johns has the story.
He talks to Deputy Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, Special Constable Mohammed Rahman, Kent PCC Ann Barnes, Chief Officer of Kent Special Constabulary Gavin McKinnon, and Special Constable Jason Bushell.