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HMIC: “Policing the crimes of today with the methods of yesterday”

2013 Police Federation Conference, Bournemouth, Dorset, Jason Bye, 15/05/2013HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has today stated that the police are “too focused on dealing with crimes they are used to dealing with, rather than the crimes that victims experience or report.”

In its new annual PEEL inspection of all forces – Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy – HMIC states that the police are “falling behind curve of changing criminality, policing crimes of today with methods of yesterday”.

HMIC praises 40 forces as good or outstanding at preventing and reducing crime [all apart from Gwent, Bedfordshire and Humberside] and 41 forces [all apart from Cleveland and Gwent] as good or outstanding at tackling anti-social behaviour.

HMIC state 40 forces are good or outstanding in the extent to which they provide value for money [all apart from Gwent, Bedfordshire and Nottinghamshire].

However, only 24 of 43 forces in England and Wales are rated as “good” at investigating crime.

HMIC on police legitimacy states that public perceptions of the police remain generally good, but the services received “can vary considerably”.

You can see the full report here

HM chief inspector of constabulary Tom Winsor (pictured) said: “Police officers are a dedicated and brave group of men and women with an unfailing commitment to public service. But the force that many of them joined bears little resemblance to the force that is required now and in the future.

“The capabilities of the police have fallen behind the crime threat in recent years and these need to improve if the police are to get ahead of the curve of rapidly changing criminality.”

He added: “The landscape in which police forces are operating has changed beyond recognition in recent years and continues to evolve quickly. Unreported crime such as cyber crime and crimes against vulnerable people, the most disturbing of which is child sexual exploitation, is not an emerging threat: it is here now.

“The police need to learn the lessons from the past and improve the prevention and detection of such crimes. The response to child sexual exploitation in particular will require strong leadership to overcome the cultural and institutional barriers that have hampered the response so far.

“Almost all crime has a technological aspect to it now and the capability to deal with this cannot therefore be the prerogative of the specialist officer; every officer needs an understanding of it and the capabilities to deal with the cyber crime they encounter.”

Mr Winsor did praise forces. He added: “My concerns about police capability should be seen in the context of the fact that our assessment found that police forces perform well in many other respects: we were particularly impressed by the way that many of them are: tackling anti-social behaviour; preventing crime; and responding to financial cuts.

“However, the quality of leadership, supervision and management at all levels, will need to adapt to the new environment if the police are to meet the challenges they face in improving capabilities, meeting the needs of victims and becoming ever more efficient and effective.”

Date posted: December 4, 2014

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