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HMIC Reports 2016

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.

Letters from the PCC to the Home Secretary in response to HMIC inspection reports are available below.


November 2016: HMIC PEEL Police Efficiency 2016

HMIC Inspection report – 3 November 2016

PCC statement 3 November , 2016

I welcome the HMIC report and the finding that Essex Police is ‘Good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime’. These are core responsibilities for any police force.

I am pleased that the Inspectorate also identified that Essex Police has ‘developed a sophisticated understanding of new, emerging and hidden demand… and regularly and effectively challenges itself to identify inefficient activities.’

The HMIC report emphasises the need for community policing to prevent crime and ensure local people remain connected with Essex Police. The people of our county, both during my election campaign and during our recent engagement about the Police and Crime Plan, have clearly expressed the importance they place on this work. More local, visible, accessible policing will be a key priority in the new Police and Crime Plan for Essex.

One means of delivering this will be the new mobile devices which are being rolled out to all front line police officers to help enable them to spend more time visibly patrolling our communities, rather than having to return to police stations to complete administrative tasks.

I am also pleased that HMIC recognised the importance of the mental health triage collaboration between Essex Police and the health service, finding that in 2015-16 this may have prevented 192 people from being inappropriately detained in police custody under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

This is an encouraging report, and I welcome its findings.


July 2016: HMIC PEEL Police Effectiveness 2015 (Vulnerability) revisit

HMIC revisit (reinspection) report July 7, 2016

PCC statement July 7, 2016

The public can have confidence that Essex Police is now protecting the vulnerable more effectively, and is better at identifying situations where people – young or old, men or women – are at risk of serious harm. It is important that we see further progress in this essential work.

Protecting vulnerable people, whether they are victims of domestic abuse or young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, must be at the heart of Essex Police’s work.

Last year, HMIC found Essex Police to be ‘inadequate at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims’. This was not an acceptable position. I welcome HMIC’s re-inspection of Essex Police and I am encouraged by their findings that the force has made ‘good progress’ in its approach to vulnerability

I am also pleased that HMIC has found that there has been ‘a change of mindset and approach to vulnerability’ amongst Essex Police officers and staff. I pay tribute to all the hard work that the force has undertaken, and to the efforts of police officers and staff to keep the vulnerable safe.

However, there is still some work to do. HMIC notes that the sheer number of suspected online paedophilia cases means that Essex Police’s specialist team is not able to investigate all of them. HMIC adds that the force’s decision to allocate lower-risk cases to officers outside the specialist unit is pragmatic, but I believe we must put in place an operational solution which is sustainable.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate also found that awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation has improved markedly across all levels of the force. However, I believe we can do still more to provide comprehensive guidance to police officers and staff.

Whilst identifying improvements in Essex Police’s work in tackling domestic abuse, there are a high number of outstanding perpetrators and the force must continue its work to bring these offenders to justice.

As PCC, I will work together with the Chief Constable to deliver more complete solutions in these important areas. We will monitor progress on the work of Essex Police in protecting vulnerable people as part of our regular scrutiny programme, and publish details.
As we develop a new Police and Crime Plan for Essex over the summer, I am committed to ensuring that tackling horrific crimes such as domestic abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation, protecting vulnerable victims and bringing perpetrators to justice, will feature as priorities for Essex Police.

March 2016: HMIC National Child Protection Inspections – Inspection of Essex Police

March 2016: HMIC National Child Protection Inspections – Inspection of Essex Police

PCC Response to HMIC Report into Child Protection at Essex Police

“I have said before that nothing is more important than protecting our children. I still firmly believe this and it remains an absolute priority for the Chief Constable and me. Victims must be at the heart of all we do. Given this, the latest inspection report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into Child Protection in Essex Police makes for both difficult and disappointing reading.

“No Chief Constable or PCC wants to hear that their force is considered to be inadequately protecting at-risk children due to “widespread serious and systemic failings”. The public of Essex will be rightly concerned at hearing this.

“However it is important to place the findings of this report into context. Essex Police has a clear understanding of the problems highlighted and has made great strides to resolve issues and learn from them. It was Essex Police itself that identified the scale of the issues in late 2014 after which it introduced a comprehensive improvement programme. Significant progress has been made in the six months since HMIC inspectors visited.

“Historically, both nationally and in Essex, there has been an under investment in detective training which has led to a workforce that has become de-skilled. Until last year, the quality of specialist child abuse investigation training for detectives nationally was poor. This is not where British policing should be in this day and age, let alone Essex Police.

“In Essex detectives are now receiving this specialist training, frontline officers have undergone public protection training and – at vulnerability training conferences held by the force – many staff and officers have heard first-hand from a survivor of child abuse about how policing can help and how it can go wrong. Essex Police has tackled this training gap head on, but it would be fanciful to suggest that such specialist skills can be learnt in a short space of time.

“My own office has also commissioned sexual abuse support services to ensure victims receive consistent support across the county and I have continued to drive partnership working, as we all have a responsibility to ensure child sexual abuse and the trauma it causes is tackled as professionally as possible in our county.

“Despite the very disappointing news today, I know that day by day, Essex police officers continue to handle many cases well, and for that they have my full support. As Police and Crime Commissioner I will continue to support and challenge the Chief Constable in improving the performance of Essex Police in protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and will work in partnership with other agencies to keep our children safe, as nothing is more important.”

Nick Alston

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

February 2016: HMIC Report into Effectiveness of Essex Police

The full report is not available as a download but can be read at the link here

PCC Response to HMIC Report into Effectiveness of Essex Police

“Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has published a report into Essex Police’s effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime. I place great value in the existence of an independent Inspectorate of policing.

“Whilst the HMIC report rates Essex Police as good at tackling serious and organised crime, some of the findings are hard hitting and disappointing.

“It is also the case that some of the information in the report was not known to me as PCC. Specifically I did not know that during the summer of 2015, neighbourhood policing was suspended in the North of the county for six weeks. I am surprised and disappointed that I was not informed of this by Chief Officers, and I have discussed this with the Deputy Chief Constable. This does however emphasise the value of an independent Inspectorate.

“On local policing, my position is clear. With the resources available to Essex Police, it is not possible to operate a model of ‘bobbies on the beat’. But local, neighbourhood, community policing – use whichever name you like – is an absolutely core function of a police service.

“Essex Police needs to re-imagine how it connects with communities and keeps people safe. We have a real opportunity in the coming months with the creation of Community Policing Teams and Community Safety Hubs in districts across our county. I will be keeping a close eye, continuing to scrutinise the work of Essex Police as these new teams are created and ensuring that they communicate professionally and proactively with the communities they serve. In particular, working with partners such as local authorities, Essex Police must ensure it has clear mechanisms for identifying and supporting vulnerable or repeat victims of Anti-Social Behaviour.

“Local policing is crucial. But HMIC has also found Essex Police to be inadequate in protecting some of our most vulnerable victims. I fully support Chief Constable Kavanagh’s decision to shift more resources into areas of high and hidden harm such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse. It is important that these police officers and staff are trained in this difficult work.

“For several decades, police forces across the country have not focused sufficiently on protecting the most vulnerable. We must get better at supporting victims, safeguarding them from harm and bringing perpetrators to justice. Every day, the rape of a child is reported to Essex Police. Every eight weeks, a person is murdered by their partner or ex-partner or someone with whom they were in a relationship in this county. Essex Police must prioritise protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“In short, I could not support any decision to retreat from local policing, and I do not believe there was any intent on the part of Chief Constable Kavanagh to do so. It is also the case that if in the future additional resources become available to Essex Police, I believe these must primarily be invested in local policing.”

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

February 2016: HMIC Report into Leadership of Essex Police

The full report is not available as a download but can be read at the link here

PCC Response to HMIC Report into Leadership of Essex Police

“I welcome the the HMIC assessment of the capacity and capability of leadership within Essex Police.

“I am pleased that HMIC found that the Essex Police Chief Officer team has a clear sense of the force’s priorities and that the Chief Constable has been described as having a “positive impact on the force”.

“However the report acknowledges that Essex Police has further work to do in ensuring the workforce fully understands the force’s priorities and I know the Chief Constable is committed to ensuring this happens.

“Hard work by Essex Police is under way in improving its crucial work in the priority areas of tackling child and domestic abuse and dealing with vulnerable people, while still tackling the many demands that are made on it day by day. I am closely involved in reviewing the plans for this work and my staff are monitoring the implementation.

“The Chief Constable and his senior team are leading that work with commitment, but the changes needed have to reach every part of the force and it will take time to see the results of that investment.”

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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