The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon (PCC) and Wiltshire Police are launching a campaign to raise public awareness of how crime is recorded.
It comes as their commitment to higher standards of crime recording continues to have an impact on the number of recorded crimes in the area.
The ‘#DidYouKnow Campaign’ launches today on social media and will continue until 20 July, when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes its next crime statistics.
It is expected that the ONS figures will show an increase in the number of recorded crimes in Wiltshire and Swindon, but the PCC and Wiltshire Police are keen to stress that this does not mean there has been a significant increase in the number of crimes actually committed.
The #DidYouKnow campaign will see regular posts on Wiltshire Police’s social media outlets, providing an informative look at how the county is policed, with a particular focus on how crime is recorded.
Shorter posts and in-depth features about staff and officers will provide a snapshot of the various aspects of the work done by Wiltshire Police and the PCC and will highlight the significance of crime recording in this work.
PCC Angus Macpherson says: “I have a clear plan set out for the way that Wiltshire and Swindon is policed, which is up to the Chief Constable to deliver.
“Part of that plan involves putting an emphasis on a much more ethical and efficient approach to crime recording.
“This not only ensures that victims and witnesses are at the heart of Wiltshire Police’s work, it also keeps the Force compliant with national standards.
“The better the crime recording, the more accurate the picture is of what is happening across the Force area and that helps us improve the service we deliver.
“The Chief Constable and his officers have my confidence that the rise we are seeing is down to the ongoing work around improving their crime recording practices.”
Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard explains: “While Wiltshire Police has always taken crime seriously, the way we have recorded crimes has not been at the level that we would like to see.
“Although the number of recorded crimes has gone up it doesn’t mean there are more crimes being committed.
“In fact the volume of calls we receive hasn’t seen a significant rise so this tells us the demand hasn’t gone up.
“Based on our analysis it is reasonable to infer that better recording practices have been the driving factor behind this increase in recorded crime.
“We understand that taking these figures at face value may be alarming to some Wiltshire and Swindon residents, which is why we are launching this campaign to help put the statistics into context.
“We are keen to reassure everybody that the area remains a safe place to live.”
You can follow Wiltshire Police’s on Twitter with the profile ‘@wiltshirepolice’ and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiltshirepolice.