A regional daily has discovered that police dealt with more than 2,000 incidents on just one weekend, despite releasing details of just three crimes to the media.
A Freedom of Information request by York’s The Press asked for details of all incidents over a busy weekend during the World Cup in June.
And crime reporter Jennifer Bell was told North Yorkshire Police had dealt with 2,046 incidents between 5pm on Friday 25 June and 5am the following Monday – during which England were beaten 4-1 by Germany in the World Cup.
But she discovered the media had only been informed about three of them – an assault on a taxi driver, a robbery and a stabbing.
News editor Gavin Aitchison said: “It was instantly hard not to contrast the thousands of incidents in the FOI response with the small number that had been publicised by the force.
“North Yorkshire Police’s press department is tremendously helpful whenever we go to them with enquiries – more so than many public bodies in our area.
“But there appears to be a culture within police forces nationally which means the majority of incidents are not made public.
“We knew we weren’t being told as much as we could or should be, but the full extent of the gulf was a surprise.”
The figures released by the police showed police dealt with an average of one incident every two minutes.
These included nearly 500 incidents of anti-social behaviour, 18 sudden deaths, road accidents, sex attacks, 27 missing people reports and seven firearm calls.
Chief Superintendent Colin Taylor, director of corporate communications at North Yorkshire Police, claimed the force was more open and transparent than ever and detailed crime rates were published online each month.
He said a decision was made on a case-by-case basis on which information to release to media about incidents and investigations.
Chf Supt Taylor added: “We take the responsibility of being a trusted source of news extremely seriously.
“However, it is not in the force’s remit to provide a ‘news service’ that outlines every single incident – regardless of operational need – that occurs across the whole of North Yorkshire and the city of York.”