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Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has given Kent Police a ‘clean bill of health’ following the latest inspection, released today, by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into the force’s crime recording practices.ann-barnes-3.jpgdeserve. Now the second inspection – carried out in November 2013 and published today – has seen an improvement in Kent Police’s accuracy level from 90 per cent to 96 per cent.

The latest inspection report found that Kent Police had:

• ‘Responded positively’ to the concerns raised by the first report by significantly improving accuracy in crime recording, including no-crime decisions
• Put in place a comprehensive action plan to address the recommendations from the first inspection
• Moved away from a target-based approach to focus on quality of service
• Ensured officers and staff had a clear understanding of their priorities without any pressure to chase targets
• Had surveyed victims identified in the first report as well introducing an appeals process for victims in cases where a crime is either not recorded, or where a crime is initially recorded but subsequently ‘no crimed’

Commenting on the latest report, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘I am delighted with the latest independent inspection as it clearly highlights the hard work that the Force has undertaken to overhaul crime recording procedures. I am now confident that the people of Kent can have trust in their crime figures. Kent Police didn’t bury their heads in the sand but tackled head-on the difficult findings from the first inspection. Kent is the first force to be independently inspected and it’s now time for all police forces in the country to take an independent look at their own crime figures. All local communities must have trust in their forces crime recording figures.

‘Kent Police must now sustain this high level of accuracy and I expect the new Chief Constable to make this his constant focus now and in the future. It is imperative that the force’s culture on crime recording does not slip back to the bad old days. As the Kent newchief Police and Crime Commissioner I will be holding the Chief Constable to account to deliver this. One of the reasons why I chose Alan Pughsley to be our new Chief Constable is because I have confidence that he can, and will, deliver on this.’

The HMIC’s Rape Monitoring Group also released its latest report today, summarising the national picture of rape offences against adults and children.

The report, showed during 1st April 2012 – 31st March 2013 Kent Police had, for adult rape offences:

• A recorded crime rate below the national average (231 cases)
• A sanction detection rate in line with the national average (18 per cent)
• A ‘no crime’ rate that is in line with the national average (13 per cent)

For child rape offences the report found:
• A recorded crime rate below the national average (177 cases)
• A sanction detection rate above the national average (40 per cent)
• A ‘no crime’ rate that is in line with the national average (5 per cent)

Commenting on the rape report, Mrs Barnes said: ‘These are horrendous crimes and whilst the report shows that Kent is at the national average I am not complacent. I expect better and I want to see the numbers improved. However, the figures are historic and do not take into account the vast strides Kent Police has made since June 2013 in overhauling crime recording procedures, particularly when it comes to recording ‘no crime’.

‘This report is timely and completely vindicates my decision to call in HMIC to forensically and independently examine our crime recording practices.

‘It is only with clear and transparent statistics – which at this stage do not always make happy reading – that we can move forward to really examine Kent Police’s performance.’

HMIC is due to return to inspect Kent Police in 2014 as part of a national inspection into ‘crime data integrity’ which will compare all 43 police forces across England and Wales.

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An interesting article we found on the BBC website that could see the end of mobile parking enforcement cars in Medway. Read The Article

Residents ignored by a fly-tipper dumping rubbish near their homes had the last laugh after video footage they secretly shot helped result in a successful prosecution.
Paul Proud, 51, of Whyman Avenue, Chatham had been due to stand trial on Monday, 15 July after pleading not guilty to a charge of being in control of a vehicle used in a fly-tipping incident, but changed his plea before the hearing. More

A shopkeeper was caught allegedly hiding illegal tobacco in Special K cereal boxes, during a sweep by Medway Trading Standards and Kent Police. Three retailers were found with suspected illicit cigarettes hidden in their stores during the raids using sniffer dogs – including in specially installed secret compartments. Read More

An architect from Gillingham has been left more than seven thousand pounds out of pocket after continually ignoring a council notice concerning substantial changes to his property. More

A Chatham man must part with almost £1,900 after he ignored council correspondence relating to flytipping containing suspected marijuana.
Steven Duggan of McKenzie Road failed to comply with a notice from Medway Council asking who had flytipped rubbish in Stoney Lane, Rochester, in which his details were found.
Insulation material, cardboard and full black bin liners were among the items dumped, as well as plant by-products believed to be marijuana. The matter was reported to Medway Council on 25 September last year. Despite numerous attempts to reach Duggan, including enforcement officers visiting his home and letters inviting him to recorded interviews, no response was received.

A notice pursuant to section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 was issued and delivered to his address on 3 December with a questionnaire to be returned to Medway Council within 10 days, but again this was ignored. The case was heard in his absence at Medway Magistrates’ Court on 2 April. For failing to comply with a notice he was fined £1,500 and must pay costs of £279.75 as well as a victim surcharge of £120. A council tax check confirmed that Duggan had lived at the address found on paperwork within the rubbish pile for the past 16 months. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact, Cllr Mike O’Brien, said: “ We have a zero tolerance policy particularly against flytipping, it is unacceptable and anyone caught will be prosecuted.

“In this case we do not know who carried out the flytipping but Mr Duggan should have cooperated with the council to help catch the culprit.”

Mr Dominic Slingo aged 46 was committed to prison on Tuesday 5 March 2013 and sentenced to 41 days imprisonment for continued non-payment of Council tax totalling £4,471.35. More

A litterbug who threw a cigarette end on to the pavement before doing a spot of shopping in a 99p store has been ordered by a court to pay more than £400. More

A litterbug caught dropping his cigarette outside a shop called Cash Converters has been ordered by a court to pay £230. More

£300 for a takeaway for one and £250 for a single cigarette. Full Story

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