England’s second-largest police force failed to record more than 80,000 crimes in a year and closed cases without proper investigation, a watchdog has found.
Inspectors said Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) service to victims of crime was a “serious cause of concern”.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said about 220 crimes a day went unrecorded in the year up to June 2020.
The force said it had “robust plans” to address issues.
In the 12-month period reviewed by inspectors, it was estimated the force had recorded 77.7% of reported crimes, a drop of 11.3% from 2018.
HMIC’s report said about one in five of all crimes and one in four violent crimes reported to GMP were not recorded.
The review also found officers prematurely closed some investigations on the basis that the victim did not support police action.
Inspector Zoe Billingham said she was “deeply troubled” by the frequency of closed cases without a full investigation.
“In too many of these cases, the force did not properly record evidence that the victim supported this decision,” she said.
This was particularly evident in cases of domestic abuse, where seven in 10 were closed on this basis, Ms Billingham said.
She said it was “simply not good enough” that, despite being urged by the watchdog to improve in 2016, “concerns have not been addressed for over four years”.
Ms Billingham did, however, acknowledge the force was taking action and had made a “marked improvement” in its recording of serious sexual offences and rapes.
A further inspection will take place in six months.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said the force was “disappointed… particularly where we have let victims down”.
He said GMP had a long-term “robust” strategic plan to address the issues raised and “secure the best possible outcomes for victims”.
The inspection had coincided with the implementation of a troubled computer system and “unprecedented challenges posed by the first Covid lockdown”, he added.
Greater Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing Bev Hughes said the findings were “extremely disappointing”.
She added that she had “communicated my feelings” to the force’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, “who must now move quickly to make improvements”.