Warwickshire Police have been left ‘disappointed’ after a report has said that the force required improvement in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime in the county.
Today (March 22) Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published its report on police effectiveness for Warwickshire Police.
The overall judgment of requires improvement was given following an inspection in September last year. This is a drop in grading as in the 2016 report the force was rated overall as ‘good’.
The inspection focused on five areas of policing:
How effective are police forces at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
How effective are forces at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
How effective are forces at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
How effective are forces at tackling serious and organised crime?
How effective are the forces’ specialist capabilities?
The report rated the force as ‘requiring improvement’ in preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, protecting vulnerable people and in tackling serious and organised crime.
The force was rated as ‘good’ for investigating crime and reducing reoffending but this judgement was from the 2016 inspection as this was not looked into during this report.
The report said: “Warwickshire Police has been assessed as requiring improvement in respect of how effective it is at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
“This contrasts with last year’s assessment, when we judged the force to be good.
“The force has not responded well enough to our previous recommendations. The use of structured problem-solving techniques to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour is not widespread within neighbourhood teams and the force’s understanding of its communities is insufficiently advanced.
“This means its response to problems is not always based on feedback from local communities and it does not evaluate its use of tactics and interventions to improve its service to the public.” The report also highlighted that the staff at the force have a ‘strong understanding of the signs of vulnerability’, it ‘works well with other organisations to increase understanding of the risks posed by organised crime groups.’
Additionally, Warwickshire Police were also said to have the arranegements needed to responded to an incident that would require armed response.
Richard Moore, Assistant Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police said: “Warwickshire Police is committed to protecting people from harm and we clearly accept there are areas where we can strengthen our approach.
“Although we are disappointed that HMICFRS felt we had not responded well enough to previous recommendations, there were several examples in the inspection of excellent work ongoing within the force.
“This included recognition for the force’s work to understand the signs of vulnerability and our investigations involving vulnerable people.
“We are pleased to see this, as it clearly reflects the force’s ambition to be great at protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We are also pleased to see HMICFRS acknowledges the good partnership working embraced by the force.
“These partnerships, such as the Serious Organised Crime Joint Action Group, are essential in the fight against serious and organised crime.
“It was also good to see that joint schemes to prevent people from becoming involved in serious crime were noted by HMICFRS as working well in Warwickshire.
“We want to be a highly effective force and, since our inspection, the force has implemented new technology and systems, which ensure our officers and staff are better equipped with the best information to prevent and detect crime.
“In April this year, the force will introduce a refreshed policing model which will ensure a better alignment of our officers and staff to the times of highest demand for our services, ensuring we have the right people available, at the right time to deliver the best possible protection to our communities.
“This new model ‘ring-fences’ our Safer Neighbourhood Teams to focus on identifying criminal activity, arresting the offenders, and protecting vulnerable victims. We will continue to work closely with all our communities to ensure we understand and prioritise the issues which concern them most.
“We fully acknowledge that these are all areas identified by HMICFRS as requiring our focus and this is exactly what we have done. With the progress we have already made we are confident that we are comprehensively addressing all the HMICFRS’s recommendations.”