HMICFRS: An inspection of the effectiveness of the Regional Organised Crime Units (February 2021)
Response from: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire
While Hampshire Constabulary was not a part of this thematic inspection we do form part of the SEROCU (South East Regional Organised Crime Unit). We value the findings and outcomes, and any learning points on which we can implement.
ROCUs (Regional Organised Crime Units) are key to tackling threats from serious and organised crime (SOC) groups. While it is recognised “There is no effective national oversight framework capable of mandating what the ROCU network should do”, the local response to SOC can be implemented, however the report highlights the risk of undermining national and regional tasking and coordination.
Given the importance placed upon ROCUs we see in the report that HMICFRS “are disappointed that we still do not see any clear long-term funding model for ROCUs. This affects ROCUs in a variety of ways.” This has been highlighted as a cause for concern, we echo this sentiment, and while funding comes directly from the PCC and the force to ROCUs there is a need to identify stable funding and resource moving forward to maintain this level of support to forces.
Here in Hampshire we continue to work with our ROCU, with strong working relationships across forces. While there are challenges, the benefits of collaboration including intelligence sharing and utilising specialist capabilities beyond our own forces resources is a key factor contributing to helping keep our communities safe.
The report makes 8 recommendations, two of which apply to Chief Constables:
- By February 2022, chief officers responsible for SOC in each region, with the chief officers of the affected forces, should make sure that systems are in place for senior investigating officers (SIOs) and lead responsible officers (LROs) to work effectively together.
- We will ensure our Chief Constable takes this recommendation forward, ensuring that Hampshire Constabulary, continues to work effectively and collaboratively across our ROCU.
- By February 2022, the chief constable with the lead for SOC in each region, with the chief officers of the affected forces, should ensure that a chief officer is appointed with responsibility for each ROCU, as far as practicable working autonomously of force responsibilities.
As above, we will continue to play an active role in ensuring our Chief Constable continues to work effectively and collaboratively across our ROCU.