Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has expressed disappointment at a grading of ‘requires improvement’ for Warwickshire Police from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in its latest assessment on police legitimacy.
Commenting on the report, Mr Seccombe said: “Clearly it is disappointing that the force has been judged to be requiring improvement, particularly after receiving a ‘good’ grading just 12 month ago. The inspectors did not highlight any particular areas which had gone backwards since last year’s inspection, however the new areas of focus for this year uncovered issues where more progress clearly needs to be made.
“It is however reassuring to see the references within the report acknowledging the effort that the force was already making to address some of the concerns as the inspection unfolded. This work is ongoing and, as an example, my office has been working closely with the Head of Professional Standards to scrutinise complaints performance and has agreed a new triage process to improve the timeliness of complaint recording and to increase early resolution, with the aim of improving the public’s confidence in the police complaints process.
“I’m equally pleased to see that the work carried out by the Trust, Integrity and Ethics Committee – established jointly with my counterpart at West Mercia – has been favourably received by the inspectors.
“I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account in making progress against the inspector’s recommendations, though it must be borne in mind that these will need to be carried out at a time of considerable challenge for policing. This is recognised by the inspectors, who acknowledge the significant and ambitious change programme I am funding.
“However, with pressures already mounting on resources and the reality that all officers and staff are having to carry much higher workloads as a result, full progress on some areas may take time to achieve, while for others there may be no quick fixes without considerable extra investment. For this reason I am continuing to make the case for additional funding for policing and will ensure that resources are prioritised towards frontline policing and efforts to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“It remains the case that the majority of police officers and staff treat communities with fairness and respect. Overall, I want ensure that the force is a position to make a reality of the commitment that it has demonstrated so far to sustaining and improving the trust and confidence of the public.”
The legitimacy report is the second HMICFRS thematic report released from its 2017 inspection programme and follows on from November’s efficiency report, which rated Warwickshire Police as being ‘good’ for the efficient way it keeps people safe and reduces crime. A further report on police effectiveness will be published in early 2018.