Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner says Police can ‘choose’ not to record crime.

Andrew Snowden

In a recent article, we reported on a Lancashire Police Inspector who is alleged to have committed perjury. (read about that here)

Almost three weeks have passed since this offence was reported to Lancashire police via the police non-emergency number, 101 and still not recorded as a crime.

The report was relayed to the 101 call operator as a person who wilfully made a false signed statement to a court and that this contravened s5 of the Perjury Act 1911. The incident was logged, the operator was told that the suspect was a serving Lancashire police Inspector.

So far, over three weeks have passed, and the incident is still live, but Lancashire police are reluctant to record it, stating that they are ‘still investigating‘ the allegation. (investigation is not permitted until it is recorded)

Crime recording rules defined by the Home Office, state

Whether to record a crime?

An incident will be recorded as a crime (notifiable offence) for ‘victim-related offences’ if, on the balance of probability:

(a) the circumstances of the victims’ report amount to a crime defined by law* (the police will determine this, based on their knowledge of the law and the counting rules); and

(b) there is no credible evidence to the contrary immediately available. A belief by the victim, or person reasonably assumed to be acting on behalf of the victim, that a crime has occurred is usually sufficient to justify its recording.

* ‘Crime defined by Law’ means a crime which is determined to be notifiable. Notifiable offences do not cover all criminal offences as most summary offences are not notifiable.

Perjury is a notifiable offence.

When to record?

Crimes should be recorded as soon as sufficient information exists to meet the crime recording steps and this should be on the same day the report is received and no later than 24 hours after the initial report was received. There are only some rare exceptions to this. All reports subject to delayed recording must contain an NCRS compliant rationale and have appropriate FCR oversight. Recording must not be delayed in order to carry out an investigation.

 

Due to the dilly-dallying of Lancashire police trying to protect one of their own, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew  Snowden (pictured), was notified.

The Crime Commissioner is responsible for overlooking Lancashire police, to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service in Lancashire.

One could easily contend that a Police Inspector, who has intentionally attempted to deceive the Courts and seems to be backed by his Chief Inspector, is neither reducing crime nor providing an effective police service.

Ian Dickenson of the Crime Commissioner’s office (incorrectly) stated.

The decision to record and investigate a crime is a discretionary power conferred on all-warranted police officers. Police officers are not obligated to take a report of a crime in all circumstances, and a decision not to record a crime or investigate a crime does not, in itself, justify a conduct complaint. 

Unless I’ve misunderstood, the remark from the Lancashire Crime Commissioner suggests that Lancashire police possess the authority to selectively decide whether to record crime. However, they do not have discretionary authority to exempt themselves from their duties as law enforcement officers.

The police are indeed duty bound with assessing whether a reported incident constitutes a crime as defined by law. They are expected to apply their legal knowledge to ascertain if a crime has occurred. However, they do not possess any discretionary authority to disregard or override the law.

The Crime Commissioner is aware that Lancashire police must make a decision, and any unreasonable or unlawful decision made can be challenged by Judicial Review.

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