Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:44 UK

The crimes that were not crimes

The Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales has said some violent crimes are not being properly recorded - or even recorded at all. The watchdog listed examples of where it said that forces had got it wrong.


Case one. What happened: There was an incident of domestic abuse. The assailant slapped his partner, grabbed her round the neck and threw her to the floor. She banged her head and suffered swelling.

Police conclusion: There was no crime because, on the balance of probabilities, the suspect's account was more credible than the victim's.

HMIC said: This should have been classed as actual bodily harm and other injury and placed too much weight on the suspect's account, rather than on "additional verifiable information" which would have changed the nature of the investigation.

Case two. What happened: The victim received a blow to left side of head just behind ear, fell to floor, curled up in a ball and was kicked all round body. The victim received six stitches to the head.

Police conclusion: No Crime. Officer said circumstances were unusual and victim may have injured himself because he was drunk. Insufficient evidence to pursue the matter.

HMIC said: This should have been grievous bodily harm without intent. The decision to "no crime" the incident was based on supposition rather than facts.


Case one. What happened: An elderly woman was pushed to the floor. She banged her head, suffered chest pains and was then kicked repeatedly by four offenders while she was still on the floor. The victim suffers a gash to the head and shoulder, extensive bruising and concussion. She requires stitches.

Police conclusion: Grievous bodily harm without intent

HMIC said: Crime should have been classed wounding or carrying out an act endangering life, a form of Most Serious Violence.

Case two. What happened: A vehicle was deliberately reversed into a victim, driven off, returned and reversed into victim again. The victim suffered a fracture to base of the spine.

Police conclusion: Inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent

HMIC said: This should have been wounding or carrying out an act endangering life.

Case three. What happened: A fight broke out in pub. The victim was punched several times to the head and pushed to floor. The victim was then continually kicked about the head and body. Injuries included a swollen eye cuts, swollen head, and cheek, bruising to knees and legs and bruising to hand used to protect head.

Police conclusion: Actual bodily harm

HMIC said: This should have been grievous bodily harm with intent because it was clearly a sustained attack.

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