I always welcome HMICFRS inspections for the value they bring independently testing the Constabulary and comparing best and good practice nationally.
The latest HMICFRS inspection looks at how well the Constabulary understands demand, changing patterns of crime and public expectations, plus how well it plans for the future and uses it resources; all of which are vital in the current extremely challenging financial climate to ensure resources are directed to where they are needed most and deliver best for our communities.
With new and increasing demands, and resources being constrained, the need for efficiency, collaboration and longer term planning grows. These are areas that I have been putting a greater focus on as Police and Crime Commissioner and as part of my Police and Crime Plan wish to see develop even further.
I am pleased that HMICFRS has recognised the increasing numbers of collaborative arrangements that have been put in place – partnership is a key pillar of my plan, since none of us can achieve the needed outcomes alone.
Two of the areas identified for improvement in the inspection focus on making the most of the workforce, these are helpful pointers and are things that the Chief Constable already has firmly on her radar and will be essential for the longer term future.
HMICFRS also suggested a review of the process for managing calls from the public. This is not new or news, since a project already exists in collaboration with Thames Valley Police, which is currently under final systems integration testing prior to go live in the spring next year 2018. This new, significantly updated and extended system will improve the public’s experience of 999 and 101, and indeed all engagement and communication with the Constabulary. This strategic investment takes advantage of improvements in technology and it makes complete sense to review the processes that sit behind this at the same time. The world is changing and business as usual must adapt to meet the new requirements.