Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has today backed the judgement of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) in the 2015 PEEL (Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy) Report into the performance of Northamptonshire Police that states the Force ‘Requires Improvement’.
Mr Simmonds confirmed the report echoes his assessment that the Force needs to better understand the current and future demand on its resources, and needs to design a policing model that is fit and effective for the 21st century.
Mr Simmonds believes Chief Constable Simon Edens, who joined the force in July this year, is the ideal candidate to deliver an improved police service for the county.
The role of HMIC is to inspect, monitor and report on the 43 police forces in England and Wales, with the aim of encouraging improvement. The PEEL programme, in which HMIC draws together evidence from its annual all-force inspections, is used to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the police.
The 2015 PEEL Report for Northamptonshire Police – released today – 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
- 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
- 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.
Responding to HMIC’s assessments, Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“The findings of HMIC and this judgement are important and echo my own assessment of the performance of Northamptonshire Police to this point. HMIC have made it clear that improvement is necessary, which is a clear wake-up call for Northamptonshire Police and one I fully expect them to respond to.
“We have protected the number of frontline officers at 1,220 throughout my term in office, and are on course to have an additional 900 warranted Special Constables on the streets by May next year – any reduction in the number of frontline police officers identified in the report was prior to my appointment as Police and Crime Commissioner.
“However, Northamptonshire Police needs to better understand the public’s expectations and thus the impact on its workforce. Likewise, the public need to ensure they are directing matters to the relevant authorities that aren’t best directed to the police, to ensure the police can provide maximum value for money and productivity in this tough economic climate. At the same time I’m very pleased and encouraged that we have more police officers spending more time on the frontline.
“The force has made considerable progress in the last three years – serious acquisitive crime has reduced, the most serious violence is down by 50%, it has radically altered its approach to stop and search and safeguarding and is building an ever closer alliance with other emergency service agencies – but in my view there has been a lack of good consistent leadership; a sense of what excellence looks like and how to deliver transformational change.
“With the recruitment of Simon Edens as Chief Constable, I believe the force will be demonstrably different and that he and his new team will deliver a new, effective model for the delivery of this vital public service. There are real challenges facing Northamptonshire Police, just as there are for the whole UK-wide service, but I believe the new Chief Constable understands those challenges and what needs to be done.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I was appointed to hold the Chief Constable and Northamptonshire Police to account, and I will continue working closely with Simon Edens and his staff to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to turn Northamptonshire Police into a top performing public service and ensure Northamptonshire becomes the Safest Place in England.”