Essex Police receives ‘Good’ gradings for treating the public fairly, using resources well and developing a positive workforce
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Essex Police has received ‘Good’ gradings for treating the public fairly, using resources well and developing a positive workforce.
Inspection results released by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services in the latest PEEL report, issued by HMICFRS on Friday 14th October.
The report says that: ‘Essex Police has an ethos of early intervention to prevent crime. It uses analysis to identify crime hotspots and responds effectively with other organisations to tackle entrenched criminality and anti-social behaviour. It has developed a co-ordinated and forward-thinking approach to reducing crime.’
The force is pleased to have received formal ‘Good’ gradings in the areas of:
Treatment of the public Good use of resources Developing a positive workplace
In addition, His Majesty’s Inspector commented that Essex Police is good at:
Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour Treating people fairly and with respect Promoting an ethical and inclusive culture and supporting its workforce.
The force recognises it has received a ‘Requires Improvement’ grade in the area of Responding to the Public and work is already underway to address 3 points raised in the report.
These are being addressed in the following way.
1. Improving the consistency and speed of response to non-emergency calls by:
Commencing a strategic review of workloads, structures, processes and technology within our force control room.
Creating 15 new Sergeants posts and 40 new police staff posts.
Conducting a thorough review of training to ensure we deliver the best possible service.
2. Delivering a better service to victims of crime at all times by:
Ensuring the Victims’ Code is followed, every time.
Making sure that victims from all backgrounds have equal access to our service.
Improving training so we identify vulnerable people and stop them falling victim to criminals.
3. Working to ensure that the most serious offenders, once they have completed custodial sentences, are dealt with appropriately by:
Refreshing and strengthening the supervisory oversight of teams managing serious offenders.
Significantly improving the timeliness of visits to serious offenders
Essex Police welcomes the report published today, Friday 14th October 2022, by HMICFRS, following the latest inspection of the force.
The report, which can be read in full on the HMICFRS website, sets out areas where the force is performing well and areas in which the force should do better. Of 8 areas reported on, 3 have been graded ‘Good’, 4 have been graded ‘Adequate’ (a new grading introduced recently by the Inspectorate) and 1 has been graded as ‘Requires Improvement’.
The 8 areas reported on are in addition to the area of Crime Data accuracy, which was inspected by HMICFRS previously and which is rated as ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible grade.
Crime Data accuracy is important because it shows that the force is correctly recording crimes, making sure they are dealt with appropriately in order to catch those responsible, protect victims and prevent crime in the future.
Responding to the publication of the report, Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington QPM said:
“Every Essex Police officer, police staff colleague and volunteer is dedicated to catching criminals and making Essex an even safer place to live and work. "Today’s report shows we are focused on preventing crimes and antisocial behaviour from taking place and that we value all our communities. "We also make the most of the resources we have and as the report says, we look after our people so they can do the very best for the villages, towns and cities which we protect and serve. "For every pound we receive, we put more officers on the street than any other force in England and Wales. "We have a clear plan to ensure that we deliver a better response to anyone who calls us for help and this is well underway, with new officers joining us all the time to make this possible.”
The current approach to inspections involves ongoing contact between HMICFRS and police forces.
The latest report includes information and evidence from the period between June 2021 and June 2022, but Essex Police is in constant contact with the Inspectorate, meaning that many of the 8 areas reported on are already undergoing a process of continuous improvement.
The report also found the following: (This is a summary and the full report can be found on the HMICFRS website)
Catching Criminals and keeping people safe
The report says: Essex police prioritises the prevention of crime, ASB and vulnerability – looking after good people and making life hard for criminals.
For context, crime has reduced in Essex, when compared with the period prior to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There was a decrease in all crime, with 577 fewer offences committed in the 12 months to September 2022 compared to the 12 months to December 2019.
The report says: Essex police understands how to carry out quality investigations and check each one has a plan and the force has an effective programme to manage the people most likely to re-offend.
For context, Essex Police has made significant improvements since the inspection in managing offenders, particularly serious offenders. The number of formal risk assessments of known or registered offenders has increased, as has the number of visits carried out to proactively monitor people who have offended in the past, to ensure that they are not likely to start re-offending.
The reports says: Essex police engages diverse communities and responds to what matters to them.
For context, Essex Police tracks public confidence across the county, as measured by an independent survey provider and this shows consistently high levels of confidence over the last 2-3 years, during which approximately 8 out of 10 people say they are confident that the force delivers a good service. In Essex, the force polices with the consent of every community.
The report says: The force promotes an ethical and inclusive culture at all levels and that it can demonstrate it is continuing to achieve efficiency savings and improve productivity, and works effectively with other forces.
The reports says: Essex Police wants to deliver the best service to people in need of help and is already working to make its response to the public better, with extensive plans already in place.
The area which the inspection graded as ‘Requires Improvement’ is in responding to the public.
Essex Police has not waited for the publication of the HMICFRS report to make its emergency and non-emergency call handling better. Thanks to additional funding which enables us to recruit extra colleagues, there are now 15 new Sergeant posts and 40 new police staff posts in the Contact Management Command, meaning that calls for help can be thoroughly assessed and the right action taken as quickly as possible.
The force is also improving the way in which it supports victims of crime. New work is already in progress to listen more intently to victims of crime so that their voice is heard, and to support every victim for as long (or as short) a time as is required to secure a good outcome for them after a crime has been committed.