Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has responded to the latest report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies in to the performance of Northamptonshire Police which has rated the Force as ‘requires improvement’, as part of HMIC’s PEEL effectiveness strand.
Each year, HMIC assesses each Police Force in England and Wales on their effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with judgments of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate given based on inspection findings, analysis and Her Majesty’s Inspectors’ (HMIs) professional judgment across the year.
HMIC have today stated that Northamptonshire Police require improvement in respect of its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime, and have provided a number of areas of focus that the Force must address. These include the Force’s crime prevention activity, investigative standards and safeguarding provided to vulnerable victims of crime. HMIC stated that Northamptonshire Police has adequate arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities, but needs to address shortcomings in its approach to tackling serious and organised crime.
The inspectorate noted progress by the Force around improvements made to supporting and identifying vulnerable people following the previous effectiveness report in 2016. The force has improved its response to missing and absent children and those at risk of sexual exploitation through closer working with partner agencies, however HMIC have stated that standards must improve in several areas.
Responding to HMIC’s report, Commissioner Mold has vowed to oversee the Force’s work on each area of improvement to ensure the people of Northamptonshire receive the level of service they are entitled to from their police force.
Police and Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Stephen Mold, said:
“Following extensive consultations with the public, Northamptonshire Police and partner agencies, I recently launched the Police and Crime Plan for the county which details the steps that both my Office and Northamptonshire Police will take to make Northamptonshire safer.
“Having worked closely with the Chief Constable and his team on the creation of the Police and Crime Plan, I know that we are on a journey to the level of service we want to provide, however we know there needs to be improvements to make our ambitions a reality. I am committed to holding our police service to account around these objectives.
“Northamptonshire Police have made real strides recently, including improving from a ‘requires improvement’ rating to a ‘good’ verdict from HMIC in the area of efficiency to add to a ‘good’ rating on legitimacy. However, the effectiveness rating is not a level of performance I accept and I continue to liaise closely with the Force to ensure improvements are being made.
“I recently supported the Chief Constable with an additional £2million of funding to create 46 new frontline roles while the Force are on the verge of introducing a new service delivery model designed to fix the gaps in service identified by HMIC. I have sought assurances from the Chief Constable that this new demand-led operating model will address the issues raised by HMIC, and I’m therefore confident that the recommended areas of improvement are being worked on extensively.
“I will continue to ensure that this is the case and will personally oversee the Force’s work on this on behalf of the public.”
Simon Edens, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, added:
“I believe this report fairly reflects where we are as a force. We have made improvements, as highlighted by the HMIC Efficiency report published in November, but there is more to do.
“Our job is to protect people from harm and we are committed to providing the best possible service to the people of Northamptonshire.
“We have done a huge amount of work over the past year to understand the demands we face and work out the best way to deploy our resources to meet that demand. This work allowed us to design a new operating model and we are now implementing that model. The Police and Crime Commissioner has provided £2 million additional funding this year so we can implement it properly. This new model will help us to tackle many of the issues raised within today’s report.
“We are also in the process of recruiting and training more detectives to enable our CID department to work at full capacity, something that will benefit all investigations, and help us to support victims of domestic abuse.
“We will continue to work closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner and other partners in order to make continued improvements, which I know people will begin to see over the coming months.”