Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies reports 2015
As part of its annual inspections into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL), HMIC’s effectiveness programme assessed how well forces keep people safe and reduce crime. Within this programme, HMIC’s vulnerability inspection examined the overall question, ‘How effective are forces at protecting from harm those who are vulnerable, and supporting victims?’
HMIC considered in depth how police forces respond to and support missing and absent children and victims of domestic abuse, and assessed how well prepared forces are to respond to and safeguard children at risk of sexual exploitation.
The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are two of the principal participants in the criminal justice system. They have complementary roles: the police investigate crime and the CPS prepares the cases and presents them in court. If victims or witnesses are vulnerable this may affect their ability to attend court and give evidence. It is therefore essential that officers identify accurately the vulnerability of victims and witnesses in the case papers they submit to the CPS.
This report sets out the findings of a review of the quality of criminal case files. It examines how effective Northamptonshire Police are in providing accurate information of the circumstances of the case, identifying the vulnerability of victims and witnesses, and assessing and managing risks so the needs of witnesses and victims are met.
The 2015 PEEL Report for Northamptonshire Police reveals an overall judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’. This is due to the following abbreviated findings:
- the force has started to analyse demand but does not yet have a clear picture of all the areas of demand that it faces; nor has it sufficiently assessed future demand; and
- due to its lack of understanding of demand, the force cannot be certain that its workforce model is designed efficiently or being developed to meet current and future requirements.
Northamptonshire Police were however praised for the sustainability of their financial position in the short and long term, a sub-section where they achieved a ‘Good’ rating. The report explains that:
- the force has a good track record of delivering savings. The force has achieved the savings it needed with an annual under-spend, which has enabled the force to establish a fund to support the cost of future change ; and
- the force also collaborates well with other forces in the region and beyond, as well as with non-police partners such as the fire and rescue service. This collaboration is helping the force to work more efficiently and to provide a more resilient service.