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HMIC Reports 2014

This page provides links to HMIC reports either specifically following an inspection of Essex Police or with regard to national policing but with direct relevance to Essex.

Please note that the PCC response to the HMIC reports should be published within 30 days of the report being issued.

22nd July 2014: HMIC Report into Policing in Austerity – Meeting the Challenge

HMIC overall report:

HMIC report into Essex Police (NB pdf document):

PCC Response to HMIC Report on Policing in Austerity

I welcome the report from her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which has rated Essex Police as ‘Good’ in the areas of: overall efficiency; providing value for money policing; and developing sound financial plans for the short and long term.

HMIC finds that Essex Police is on track to deliver the required savings whilst remaining a comparatively low cost force.  This makes delivering the savings required (£47.3M or 15 percent) demanding.  However, HMIC further notes that Essex Police has a good track record of meeting financial challenges, and that the force has developed sound plans to maintain good quality policing both now and throughout the savings period.

While the number of police officers and PCSOs has fallen since 2010, HMIC recognises the efforts made to increase the proportion of police officers on the frontline.  I welcome this. Essex Police has achieved 28 per cent of savings by reducing non-pay costs since 2010. As the report finds, Essex Police in fact spends the least per head in the country on non-pay costs which demonstrates the leanness and efficiency of the force.  Given this context, I will continue to encourage the force to improve in areas such as implementing smarter and more efficient Information Technology, as one example.

As HMIC finds, Essex Police has strong collaboration arrangements.  I am pleased that the force is planning to make use of these to reduce costs further in areas such as contract renegotiation and centralisation of training provision.  HMIC finds that the force is planning to make use of collaboration to contribute to 21 per cent of required savings, which is far higher than the 10 per cent figure for England and Wales.

My office will continue to work with the force to provide support and challenge to ensure that, whilst there continues to be a strong focus on delivering value for money, the ultimate aims remains to keep the people of Essex safe and reduce crime.

Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex



 1st May 2014: HMIC Report into Crime Data Integrity

HMIC Summary page:


PCC Response to HMIC Report on Crime Data Integrity:

The HMIC interim report into crime recording is an important document.  The accurate recording of crime is critical to understanding what is going on in our communities.  Without accurate crime data, how can we hope to deploy our police officers, PCSOs and police staff in an intelligent and optimal fashion, keeping people safe and secure across our county?

As Police and Crime Commissioner I have given this issue high priority since my election.  In November 2013, I was one of three PCCs to give evidence to parliament’s Public Administration Select Committee and I stated unequivocally:

‘It is crucial that crime is recorded correctly and ethically by our police forces.  This is a matter of police integrity, of treating victims with respect and of ensuring that officers have the most accurate possible information as they work both to prevent crime and bring criminals to justice.’

Across the 13 forces inspected in the interim report, the implication drawn by HMIC is that 20 per cent of crimes may be going unrecorded across England and Wales.  I agree with HMIC that this is a matter of serious concern.

The good news in Essex is that of a representative 73 incidents examined by HMIC, only 5, under 7 per cent, were incorrectly recorded as ‘no crimes’ in our county.

Of 120 crimes examined by HMIC that should have been recorded as crimes, 110, around 92 per cent, were correctly recorded as crimes.

In short, HMIC’s inspection has found that crime is largely recorded accurately and ethically in Essex.  The HMIC interim report provides independent validation of the robust processes that exist in Essex Police to ensure that crimes are correctly recorded, enabling informed and intelligent decisions to be made around the deployment of our police officers, PCSOs and police staff.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh has shown clear and strong leadership on the importance of accurate crime recording, developing and building on the work of his predecessor, Jim Barker-McCardle.  I am pleased that the people of Essex can have confidence that when they report crime, then the information they provide will be treated professionally and properly by their police force.  And I would stress again, everyone must report crime to police.

However, I am not complacent.  At the heart of my role as PCC is the task of holding the Chief Constable to account.  On behalf of the people of Essex, I will continue to insist that crime is recorded accurately and ethically in our county.

I am also convinced that moving away from a slavish reliance on strict performance targets, of a lazy culture of ‘chasing the figures’, is important in helping to ensure crime is recorded ethically.  On becoming Police and Crime Commissioner in November 2012, I set Essex Police a clear and simple aspiration: to reduce all crime to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. I am pleased that crime is continuing to fall in Essex.  I frequently hear from experienced police officers that they now feel liberated to work to reduce harm in our communities rather than chasing targets.

My commitment is that crime will be recorded accurately and professionally in our county.  The people of Essex should have confidence in the crime figures that we publish on a regular basis on my website and which are discussed in detail at our public meetings.  Those crime figures may sometimes be challenging, but they must continue to be a factually accurate account of the level and type of crime in our communities and neighbourhoods.

I believe the scrutiny that I have applied to crime recording in our county combined with the leadership of Chief Constable Kavanagh, and the independent inspection by HMIC, means that the people of Essex can have a high level of confidence that the crime figures paint a broadly accurate picture.

I am grateful to HMIC for their interim report, but conscious that this is an ongoing process.  I will continue to work with Essex Police, day by day, to ensure that our county’s crime figures remain reliable and accurate.  We must embed a culture based not on chasing figures but on the core tasks of policing: protecting people from harm, bringing criminals to justice, and keeping our communities safe.
Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex


PCC Response to HMIC Report on Domestic Abuse:

Domestic abuse is an absolute priority.  Every day, Essex Police deals with over 80 incidents of domestic abuse. Whilst real progress has been made over the past 12 months, nevertheless the HMIC report shows that more work needs to be done to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are identified earlier and kept safe from harm.

I have made domestic abuse one of my key priorities within the Police and Crime Plan and it will remain there for the year ahead. I chair the pan-Essex Domestic Abuse Strategy Board, which is leading on an ambitious programme of work across police, social care, health and the voluntary sector to tackle domestic abuse through a co-ordinated and joined up approach.

Partnership working is essential to improving the services we offer to victims of domestic abuse, as well as the interventions delivered to perpetrators. I am encouraged that through our new multiagency hubs, there is already a better sharing of information across agencies to ensure that those who are victims of domestic abuse, and those who are at risk, have support packages in place to help keep them safe.

I am determined to place victims at the centre of all of our work to tackle domestic abuse. This includes the children of domestic abuse victims, who often witness domestic abuse and need our support to help them cope and recover.
I will ensure that Essex Police’s response to the HMIC report recommendations remains at the centre of my scrutiny programme over the coming year, and I will hold the Chief Constable to account for delivery.

Right across Essex, Southend and Thurrock I will continue to encourage victims of domestic abuse to come forward and report cases to Essex Police. I want to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse get the service and support that they deserve every step of the way.

Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

31 Jan 2014: (National) Rape Monitoring

HMIC Summary page:

HMIC Essex Report:


PCC Response to HMIC Report on Rape Monitoring:

I welcome the report by HMIC into adult and child rape data in Essex for 2012/13. In the last year and a half, I note that Essex Police has made substantial changes to the way it deals with reports of rape made by victims.

Rape is a very serious crime that has lasting effects on victims, their friends and families. The report finds that for 2012/13, recorded crimes regarding adult and child rape are in line with the average for other forces, with the same finding for ‘no crime’ rates. Where Essex differs is in having a lower than average sanction detection rate (i.e. solved rate) for adult and child rape.

The Chief Constable, Stephen Kavanagh, has set out a number of steps that he is taking to make improvements in this area.

As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will continue to review and monitor the impact of those steps in this crucial area of policing, supporting the force but also challenging Essex Police to investigate these crimes as thoroughly as possible and work together with partner agencies to provide strong support for victims.

Finally, my office is taking on the responsibility for the commissioning of victims’ services and is undertaking work to identify the needs of victims, improve access to services and increasing the reporting of such crimes.

Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex



Essex Police Response to HMIC Report on Rape Monitoring:

Essex Police has made substantial changes to the way it deals with rape allegations in the last 18 months in order to put victims at the heart of its response.

Responding to the publication of a HMIC report on how police forces dealt with rape allegations in 2012/13, the Chief Constable of Essex Police, Stephen Kavanagh, said:

“It is vitally important that Essex Police provides the best service possible to rape victims and it is clear that our performance in this area was not what it should have been.

“A combination of a reorganisation of CID operations at the same time as a significant increase in reports of offences and a change in the nature of those offences all adversely affected our performance.

“As the HMIC rightly recognises rape is one of the most serious violent crimes and its impact on victims can be devastating. It is absolutely crucial that the police and wider criminal justice system do all we can to ensure that victims are believed and investigations are followed through.

“People who commit such offences are among the most serious criminals and must be brought to justice.

“We have already taken a number of steps to improve investigations in Essex, and the introduction of specialist teams of detectives to deal with these crimes is now starting to see such improvements.

“We are also working more closely with the voluntary sector, the dedicated staff in the county’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre and the Crown Prosecution Service to improve the service provided to victims and the opportunities for successful investigations.”

Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex


PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police

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