Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Met crime figures were fiddled

 

Whitehall Editor

A whistleblower’s claim that the Metropolitan Police manipulated crime figures to meet its performance targets is at least partially true, the head of Britain’s largest force admitted on Wednesday.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told MPs that allegations  by one of his own police constables that statistics were routinely fiddled contained a “truth we need to hear”.

His comments to the Public Administration Select Committee came just over a month after he insisted his force’s crime figures were “competent and reliable”.

Pc James Patrick is currently facing a disciplinary hearing over his claims that crimes such as burglary and rape had been wrongly downgraded or written off by officers.

He said that the figures were being fixed to meet a crime reduction target of 20 per cent and that he had raised his concerns with MPs after being blocked from speaking out by the Met.

Sir Bernard said the allegations were a matter of serious concern and that an inquiry was continuing. He said early findings suggested that some of Pc Patrick’s claims were inaccurate and that the remainder of his allegations had some validity.

“On the whole there is a truth there that we need to hear,” he said. “Some of them are worthy of further investigation. Some of them are incomplete and occasionally there may be some inaccuracy. I don’t want to give any impression that I’m not concerned about this.”

The Commissioner said the Met had yet to speak directly to Pc Patrick, partly because of his pending misconduct hearing, and that its inquiry was likely to take three to six months.

Sir Bernard suggested that the complexity of crime recording rules and problems with technology were partly to blame for flaws in crime figure data. But he insisted that he would ensure the integrity of crime figures.

He added that HM Inspectorate of Constabulary would begin a separate independent investigation next month in the gathering of crime statistics.

Sir Bernard also faced a difficult moment in his evidence when he was forced to admit that, during a previous appearance before MPs, he had cited a report he had written in 2011 while working in the police inspectorate as evidence in support of the force’s crime recording methods.

In fact, the report had said there was “some cause for concern”. Sir Bernard said he had forgotten that he had written the report and had quoted from the executive summary, which was broadly favourable, without reminding himself of the full text before he gave evidence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power