Posted on 27th November 2014
Derbyshire’s Chief Constable Mick Creedon has welcomed the publication of the first PEEL Report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
The report is an over-arching review of policing based on independent assessments by HMIC.
The inspectors found that Derbyshire Constabulary is ethical, efficient and has a good record of reducing and investigating crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and providing value for money. The assessment also revealed that the force has outstanding arrangements in place for dealing with police corruption and consistently demonstrates integrity.
Two other reports focusing on crime investigation and police integrity and corruption have also been published today.
These reports follow the publication last week of the HMIC report on Crime Data Integrity, which praised Derbyshire for its ethical and robust crime recording processes. It also found that the constabulary has a victim-centred approach with a strong focus on ensuring that the most vulnerable victims receive a joined-up service from all organisations.
Mr Creedon said: “Policing is going through significant challenges. Crime is changing; the public rightly expect high standards; and the austerity measures mean that we continue to reduce the workforce and the number of police officers available.
“Despite these challenges, we have a hugely committed workforce and I am really pleased with the HMIC’s findings. I believe that they accurately reflect all the hard work that has been done over many years to ensure that we have an efficient and effective force.
“While I recognise there are always ways we can improve, I am immensely proud that we continue to provide a good service to the Derbyshire public. This has been achieved by working with communities, our partners and the Police and Crime Commissioner who shares the same determination and commitment that I do.
“Policing is unique in that the government has entrusted us with powers and we have to use them properly and carefully. It is a privilege to perform the role of a police officer or police staff member, and the public should expect and demand high standards of behaviour, appearance and professionalism. There is no place for the ‘rotten apple’ and we are determined to deal with corruption and poor behaviour. I am pleased HMIC has recognised this.”
Commissioner Alan Charles said: “This report makes very reassuring reading for the Derbyshire public. It provides external verification that we are doing the job they entrust us to do and we are doing it well. The fact that this is being done in the face of the most severe funding challenges for generations illustrates the absolute commitment and professionalism of this police force.
“I am acutely aware that the financial pressure is not likely to ease in the foreseeable future, so I was pleased to see HMI’s very positive assessment of the measures in place to address the funding situation.
“HMI also recognises our commitment to vulnerable members of our society and notes the work we are doing to put victims at the heart of our service, with satisfaction rates illustrating this approach.
“But however good this report is one fact will always remain. While we have victims of crime, we have more work to do, in policing there is never room for complacency. The Chief Constable and I are determined to do everything we can to ensure that our communities, rural and urban, continue to receive a quality police service that meets their needs. The report’s findings reflect the exceptional leadership exercised by our senior officers, which is complemented by the commitment of all members of Derbyshire Constabulary, which I feel should be acknowledged.”
Speaking about the HMIC findings on crime investigation Mr Creedon said: “As the HMIC points out we havea rigorous approach to identifying criminality and we use intelligence effectively every day to disrupt criminal activities.The inspection gave particular focus on domestic abuse; this is a very complex area, where we have made significant improvements, but recognise there is still more to do.
“It is good that it has been recognised that we have a strong commitment to neighbourhood policing and the safer neighbourhood teams have a good understanding of local concerns and priorities. Our neighbourhood policing teams are an essential part of ensuring that we not only regularly interact with our communities but they become an integral part of the communities they are serving.”
Value for money
In respect of value for money Mr Creedon said: “We understand the financial issues we face although we don’t like them and would always want to grow policing rather than shrink it.
“This is a low cost, good value force and we have had to make more than £20m savings in recent years. Savings during the next four years will be even larger – and all this is at a time when we still don’t get the full Home Office grant we should receive.
“Despite this we have a well-managed change programme in place to ensure we make the savings required. We recognise that we have to continually do things differently and that we have to be focused on an improving service to victims whilst tackling the greatest risks and threats we face.
“It’s important the public of the county and city realise that despite the changing face of policing our commitment to them is greater than ever before.”
The report noted:
- The proportion of the public who think that the force does an excellent/good job was broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales, and the victim satisfaction survey found that the proportion of victims who were satisfied with their experience was greater than the figure across England and Wales.
- Crime in Derbyshire has reduced by 22 percent during the last four years, which is a greater reduction than the 16 percent average for England and Wales.
- Derbyshire Constabulary has made excellent progress in implementing ethical and professional behaviour across the force and is very effective in protecting the organisation from threats such as corruption.
- The public can have confidence in the way the force records crime.
- The crime data integrity inspection found that operators who answered calls from the public were polite, helpful and professional.
- The domestic abuse inspection found that there were good systems and practices in place in the control room to identify victims of domestic abuse and to ensure an appropriate police response. All domestic abuse cases are reviewed at daily management meetings, and repeat offenders are referred to a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC).
- There is a strong focus on providing a good service to victims.
- HMIC found excellent work scrutinising investigations so as to understand the reasons why some fail to result in convictions and to improve the quality and outcomes of future investigations.