Cleveland Police reopen 'no crime' rape cases

A police force has reopened 49 rape investigations that were wrongly recorded as "no crime".

Inspectors found Cleveland Police had wrongly categorised 12 such cases in a report last year.

The force said it had since identified a further 37 cases that need to be looked at, going back to 2010.

The no crime label refers to when officers decide no offence was committed after receiving further information.

Last year Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) looked at the way every force in England and Wales recorded crime.

The subsequent reports, which related to crime recorded between 2012 and 2013, criticised a number of forces for misuse of the no crime category.

'Increased scrutiny'

Nearby Northumbria Police announced it was reinvestigating 54 cases going back to 2011 in October.

Cleveland Police said a specialist team led by a detective inspector had been set up to look at the 49 cases.

It also said it had changed the way it recorded crime to make it "robust and transparent".

This includes having a "dedicated decision-maker" to assess no crime decisions over rape cases, a spokesperson said.

There is also now monthly auditing of indictable offences classed as no crime and a panel with people from outside agencies to look at no crime rape cases.

No arrests have yet been made in the reopened cases, the force said.

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