VICTIMS of crime can have confidence that Durham Constabulary will take their report seriously, independent inspectors have concluded.

Durham has been rated Good in the latest Crime Data Integrity inspection, one of only five forces in the country to achieve the rating out of the 20 inspected so far.

The force correctly recorded 91.5 per cent of crimes reported by the public, among the highest figures so far in the rolling series of inspections across England and Wales.

The report, released today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), rated Durham good overall and said it was outstanding when it came to demonstrating the leadership necessary for meeting national standards in crime reporting.

The report concluded: “Victims reporting crimes to Durham Constabulary should have confidence that their report will be taken seriously.”

Inspectors particularly praised Durham for achieving high levels of accuracy in the reporting of sexual offences and for recording all offences of modern slavery.

The report said: “Durham Constabulary has made concerted efforts to improve crime-recording accuracy since HMICFRS’ 2014 Crime Data Integrity inspection report.

“Importantly, we found a commitment to ethical crime recording that is victim-focused and free from performance pressures of any kind.

“These are very encouraging findings”.

Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “I am delighted that the inspectorate recognised how assiduous our staff are at accurately recording crime as per the rules set by the Home Office.”

“Albeit I am pleased, I do have a degree of irritation at some of the complexities of the rules and I have some sympathy and understanding for other police forces that may have been tripped up by some of the intricacies”.

Inspectors did identify some areas for further improvement, including earlier recording of public order offences and the under-recording of offences in which young people share indecent images of themselves.

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, said: “I am delighted once again to see Durham Constabulary rated at the very top of policing in England and Wales.

“Integrity around crime data recording is essential to maintaining public confidence and there is still some progress to be made.

“I congratulate the force on this achievement whilst at the same time sharing some of the frustrations expressed by the chief constable about the complexities of the rules around crime recording.”

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said her force’s Chief Constable must make improvements “as a matter of urgency” after the report rated the force “inadequate”.

It was found North Yorkshire Police did not properly record one in five crimes.

She said: “I am concerned by this report which clearly identifies that North Yorkshire Police is not recording crime as it should.

“The public rightly expect better, and improvements need to be made as a matter of urgency.”

Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “Based on its inspection last year, HMICFRS found that although our officers and staff are focused on the needs of victims, our administration is letting us down, and we are not recording all crimes as we should.

“That must change, and we have already started to make improvements.

“It’s important to remember that every call we answer is logged.”

“In every case where there was a vulnerable victim, we sent an officer and provided the service.”

“However we have not recorded everything properly on the system, and we need to do much better.”