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Avon and Somerset Police rated as good in latest national inspection


A national inspection has found Avon and Somerset Police is good at preventing and investigating crime and protecting vulnerable people.

A report issued today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) rated our Force as good in the following areas:

  • Preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour
  • Investigating crime and reducing re-offending
  • Protecting vulnerable people
  • Tackling serious and organised crime

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said our Force had “performed well” in this year’s effectiveness inspection and had made “good progress” since last year and highlighted the following areas.

Investigating crime and reducing re-offending

  • Our assessment of threat, harm, risk and vulnerability is good
  • Officers and staff take effective early investigative action and have been given the technology, including electronic investigative toolkits, to be able to effectively gather evidence at the scene of incidents
  • Investigations are allocated to skilled officers and staff appropriately
  • We have good processes for responding to reports of fraud
  • We could do more to understand why victims don’t support police action and cases cannot proceed to prosecution because of evidential difficulties

Protecting the vulnerable and supporting victims

  • We have a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability and effectively use risk assessments for all calls to our control room
  • We take positive action to safeguard vulnerable people
  • We have psychiatric nurses based in our control room to improve our joint response to those in mental health crisis
  • More work needs to be done to understand why outcomes of domestic abuse cases are not as good as they could be. Our processes for managing registered sex offenders also needs some improvement

Tackling serious and organised crime

  • We’ve made significant progress in understanding and disrupting serious and organised crime groups – and the Inspector highlighted our processes in assessing, monitoring and reviewing threats from crime groups
  • Collaborative work with other agencies has worked well in targeting young people at risk of becoming involved in this crime type and we’ve taken steps to prevent offending among established organised criminals
  • We could do more to understand how our activity affects serious and organised crime to ensure we maximise the disruptive effect

The report also found we had the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil our national policing responsibilities and to respond to an attack which requires an armed response.

Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “We’re pleased the inspectors have recognised all the hard work we’ve been doing in Avon and Somerset to improve our effectiveness as a force in responding to crime, managing offenders, protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and being ready to respond to a major incident.

“We’re particularly pleased the pioneering work we’ve been doing to improve our response to incidents involving people in mental health crisis and to equip our officers and staff with the latest technology to improve efficiency and evidence gathering are among the areas singled out for praise.

“Of course there are areas where we need to do better and I’d like to reassure our communities that we’re already taking action in all the areas identified in this report.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Protecting the most vulnerable from harm is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and a lot of work continues to take place to provide a tailored service to vulnerable victims and in particular those who are experiencing mental health crisis. 

“Reducing re-offending and managing offenders is also a key focus for both the Constabulary and I, so I am pleased HMIC have found the Constabulary to be good at this. 

“There is still work to be done, in particular in areas such as understanding why victims do not support police action, addressing the proportion of cases that cannot progress because of evidential difficulties, and in tackling serious and organised crime.  

“I will be discussing the findings of this report with the Chief Constable.  However, I know the Constabulary remain committed to continually improving its effectiveness.”

Posted on Friday 23rd March 2018
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