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Commissioner responds to claims crime stats flawed

UPDATE: QUEENSLAND Police has responded to a report by the Audit Office which said its crime statistics were flawed. 

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said work was underway to fix he problem. 

"As soon as the QPS became aware of the issues concerning the finalisation of crime reports in mid-January, we began a detailed and comprehensive audit of almost 60,000 records which had been classified as unfounded or withdrawn between 1 November 2015 and 26 January 2017," Commissioner Stewart said.

Unfounded crime reports are not included in official crime statistics, as there is no evidence, or insufficient evidence, to indicate the incident actually occurred.

"On average we found that, 9.4% of the reports finalised in this manner had been incorrectly classified. However, expressed as a percentage of total occurrences for reportable offences during that period, the rate is very low at approximately 1.1%," Commissioner Stewart said.

"All of the anomalies identified during that audit have been corrected.

"A detailed investigation into the finalisation of crime reports specifically on the Gold Coast was also undertaken by the Ethical Standards Command. No systemic inappropriate behaviour was detected.

"A number of measures have or are being put into place to validate the more problematic classifications of unfounded, withdrawn and bar to prosecution.

"For example, crime managers will be required to validate each of those classifications. In addition, the Ethical Standards Command have broadened their inspections regime to include sampling of finalised crime reports.

"Work has also begun on improvements to our governance and quality assurance systems aimed at improving crime reporting quality and accuracy."

EARLIER: CRIME statistics across the state are "questionable at best and unreliable at worst" according to a scathing audit of police data.

The Queensland Audit Office report released today has investigated how crime data is being mismanaged by police as they chase clearance targets instead of accuracy.

This includes inappropriately reclassifying a complaint as unfounded rather than unsolved.

"Over recent years questions have been raised in Queensland about the accuracy and reliability of reported crime statistics," the audit states.

"The Queensland Police Service has an unacceptable amount of crime data across the state that is incomplete, inaccurate and wrongly classified.

"As a result, reported crime statistics are questionable at best and unreliable at worst, and should be treated with caution."

It has recommended a list of changes to produce more accurate data on the crime rate for the state.

Topics:  editors picks queensland

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