Nick Smith

Working for you in Blaenau Gwent

Crime figure review more vital than ever

NICK Smith MP has strengthened his call for an external review into Gwent Police after the publication of their internal investigation.

The investigation, prompted by Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, discovered 25 out of 50 sampled incidents were reported incorrectly in the first instance.

The review also estimated crime had been underreported by 4-8% - casting doubt on a recent surge of performance that saw record drops in crime in Gwent.

Speaking after gaining early access to the report, Mr Smith said: “The public need confidence in police data, but there have been real concerns from all quarters about figures that were being celebrated just a few months ago.

“An estimated 4-8% additional crimes each year is not an insignificant number, especially as these seem to have resulted from differences of interpretation on a national and local level.

“Although there is evidence of training in the months since, this is why I have called for an external audit to fix this problem once and for all and restore confidence in the figures."

“In addition, the situation involving the former Chief Constable cannot be ignored. This report reveals an ambitious, target-driven culture that was driven from the top.

“Yet the report repeatedly refutes any claims that the targets caused pressure to under report crimes or in any way fiddle the numbers.

“At this stage, there is still no proof of the accusations levied at Ms Napier – and it just poses more questions about her departure.”

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