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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn