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Commissioner comments on latest HMIC report

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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have today published their report into the Effectiveness of Humberside Police. This is one of three main reports annually which make up HMIC’s ‘PEEL’ assessment into all police forces in England and Wales.

Humberside Police received an overall grading of ‘Requires Improvement’ which was unchanged from last year. The report is divided into four individually graded sections:

· Crime Prevention – Good
· Investigation – Requires Improvement
· Vulnerability – Inadequate
· Serious and Organised Crime – Good

Statement from Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter:

“As the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Humberside Police area I welcome the latest inspection report from Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) covering ‘Effectiveness’. HMIC conduct a continuing cycle of inspections they call their PEEL inspections (Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy). Each year they conduct a new inspection into each of these areas and those inspections are supplemented with further inspections into areas deemed of interest by HMIC. One such additional inspection has been carried out into Child Protection and we await the publication of that report.

“Whilst these reports can be helpful to Forces and PCCs I believe this ongoing production of reports, each with a number of different strands, is very confusing for the public and I will work with HMIC, in my national capacity as the deputy lead for Performance with the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, in an attempt to rationalise the performance landscape.

“This latest report does identify some improvement, especially in relation to the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour which I acknowledge is encouraging progress for Humberside Police in an area of interest to the public in making our communities safer places to live. However, crucially, in the hugely important area of vulnerability Humberside Police receives a grading of ‘inadequate’ which is a step backwards from last year when the Force received a grading of ‘requires improvement’. Following previous poor reports and a clear requirement I imposed when elected for the Force to illustrate incremental and sustainable improvement, this retrograde step in such a key area is simply not acceptable.

“I have said previously, and maintain, that grades based upon arbitrarily determined standards should not be taken as the only yardstick against which a Force’s progression or effectiveness should be judged; neither should positions in league tables of Forces. For that reason I do not base my views of Humberside Police purely on the grades of the four areas of policing reported upon in this document. I have looked more deeply into the background and potential root causes of the problems that have emerged and considered a number of factors. Those factors include feedback HMIC provided following this inspection, and prior to the publication of the report, but also feedback from the HMIC inspection into Child Protection matters, for which we are still awaiting the report.

“What is clear to me is that problems with the operation of the Command Hub, introduced during the reorganisation of Humberside Police in April 2015, are continuing to have a negative impact in a number of areas. Additionally, the churn of senior managers in public protection, who together have oversight of vulnerability issues, mitigates against problems being identified and addressed by the Force as part of their day-to-day management. These problems go beyond a grading of inadequate in a single strand of one report. They are, in my view, a sign of a failure of leadership and planning at the highest levels of the Force and, as evidenced by HMIC, remain capable of leading to problems emerging and impacting upon a number of areas of delivery.
Humberside Police has addressed the specific issue of response to domestic abuse calls identified by HMIC on this occasion but it is not sufficient merely to repair faults once identified by external inspections. It is vital the Force acknowledges where it has made mistakes if it is to build a solid foundation for progress in the future. I am addressing these matters with the temporary Chief Constable and will do so further when the new Chief is appointed.

“I am happy that HMIC report the positive aspects of the re-introduced neighbourhood policing capability, which is one of my major priorities and something I have been working with the Force to enhance since my election, with additional funding and emphasis. As the report identifies, such a capability adds value to many other aspects of policing whilst also meeting the needs of communities for visible and interactive local policing. I will work with the Force to strengthen this area further.

“The overall grading for ‘Effectiveness’ of ‘Requires Improvement’ is unchanged since last year. It is the story beneath the headline which is important though. There has been some good work by many officers working on behalf of communities and that effort has not gone unnoticed and is appreciated. Some more fundamental issues, in my view stemming from poor strategic planning and implementation, remain capable of deflecting the Force from its goal of focussed and steady improvement and must be addressed. I will make this a priority for the new Chief Constable.”

The full HMIC report can be read from Wednesday 2nd March at www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/humberside/

Posted on Thursday 2nd March 2017
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