HMIC Reports 2017
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.
HMIC Legitimacy Report – Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:
“This is another positive independent inspection result on the legitimacy of Essex Police by HMICFRS. As well as achieving a “good” rating overall the report also notes that the “solid foundations” identified in the 2016 HMICFRS have been built on with sustained good progress being made.
“Overall the force was seen to have a strong value based approach that uses independent advisory boards and external scrutiny to help improve its performance. It regularly seeks feedback from staff, victims and communities and sets out clear plans for implementing suggestions from these changes.
“Members of the public should be reassured by this report and the fact it shows that Essex Police treat people fairly and respectfully. While there are a some suggestions for improvement around referral of complaints and providing updates to complainants in line with IPCC guidance the report overall shows a force achieving a good standard and maintaining positive improvement.”
Police efficiency report – Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:
This latest HMICFRS report on Essex Police Efficiency is another clear indication of the significant ongoing improvement in performance the service is achieving.
Against a backdrop of increasing demand and a challenging financial situation, I am very pleased and the public will be reassured to see that Essex Police have been judged by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate as being Good at how they keep people safe and reduce crime.
I was particularly encouraged by the further progress made in identifying and tackling hidden harms such as domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation. This has been an area of significant investment and it is positive that this has led to a sustained improvement. This area of work has also benefited from a strong and collaborative approach, working with partners such as social care and health across Essex to identify and support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
The proactive approach Essex Police is taking to building their cyber capability has also been recognised in the report. The introduction of the cyber-crime unit in collaboration with Kent Police was highlighted as an example of the force’s commitment to tackling this rapidly evolving area of criminality. We are fortunate that our Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh is the national police lead for digital policing, showing both national and local leadership to this important issue.
The force has made positive strides in realising the benefits offered by new forms of technology was also recognised. This is an area that will make a significant impact on police visibility and effectiveness in the coming years. Recent investment in mobile devices for frontline officers, body worn cameras and drone technology has helped to reduce demand, provide a more rapid repose and ensure officers are able to spend more time out in their communities.
In terms of our ambitious recruitment of Specials it is again positive that the inspection found that the early signs are encouraging.
While the report is very positive there still some areas for improvement. The 101 contact service continues to be underperforming, with the public regularly feeding back their concerns to me about this important area. . The additional resources which were invested in 101 earlier in the year have been used to address the recent increase in demand so have not resulted in the significant improvement that is needed to provide the public with the service they need. A thorough review of the 101 service is now underway.
I want to recognise the significant progress that has been made and sustained in recent years. It is a very positive trend and I would like to thank the Chief Constable and his team for the strong leadership they have shown. I would also like to thank all of the officers and staff for their drive and commitment to improving the service that the people of Essex receive.
Roger Hirst said: Commenting on today’s HMIC inspection reports on Police Effectiveness, Essex’ Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst said: “Essex Police has made substantial progress over the last two years and it is encouraging that this latest HMIC report shows that they are rated as good for preventing and investigating crime and dealing with serious and organised crime. There has also been a strong improvement in how Essex Police keep the vulnerable safe. This is testament to the strong leadership of Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh and the effort made by officers and staff throughout the force.
In particular the improvements made in reducing anti-social behaviour, investigating crime and tackling organised and serious crime show that Essex Police are prioritising well. Recent measures to strengthen the role of community policing teams in crime prevention, and improve accessibility through better use of technology and social media are also bearing fruit. We remain aware that, although significant improvement has been made, there is still more work to do in how the force protects vulnerable people and victims of domestic abuse.”
Essex Police Statement
This report is good news for the people of Essex. From tackling anti-social behaviour to taking down organised crime right through to being prepared for the possibility of a terrorist attack, Essex Police is judged to be doing a good job at keeping people safe.
This report shows Essex to be one of the most improved forces in the country. It focuses on the most important roles a police force has and I am pleased it reflects the dedication, bravery and energy of officers and staff. In particular Her Majesty’s Inspectors are clear that we have greatly improved how we protect vulnerable people.
We have had to find nearly £70m of savings to government in the last five years and hundreds of PCSOs and police officers have gone. Technology, ambition and a commitment to our communities will ensure we do everything possible to keep our county safe.
We will never be complacent about the safety of Essex communities and will focus on maintaining that improvement in future.
HMIC statement on Essex – HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:
“I am very pleased that Essex Police has made substantial improvements in how effectively it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Since our last inspection in 2015 we found improvements across all areas including in how the force supports people who are vulnerable. There are still some areas that I would like to see the force improve upon, but overall it’s very encouraging progress.
“The force has taken on board our recommendations on how it should improve its crime prevention work, and it is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour to prevent it from escalating. Every neighbourhood has a community policing team made up of police officers and PCSOs who devote most of their time to preventing crime happening in the first place. The force regularly seeks the views of the public, often using Twitter and Facebook as well as the more traditional local community meetings. Not only does it seek the views of local people about their concerns – the force then acts on them.
“I am pleased that Essex Police has also improved how it investigates crime, with officers who arrive on scene first generally doing a good job in collecting evidence during the ‘golden hour’. I would like to see the force do more to reduce even further the delays in investigations because investigators are awaiting the retrieval of digital evidence from electronic devices, like mobile phones. While the force has a well established scheme, working with other local partners to prevent re-offending by some of its most prolific offenders, the force needs to do more to improve how it manages the risks posed by registered sex offenders living in its area. The force acknowledges that its work in this vitally important area of policing has further to go.
“I am particularly encouraged by the way in which the chief constable and his chief officers have made an enormous effort to drive improvement across the whole organisation in the way the force protects vulnerable people, especially children. The strong leadership and commitment to change on the part of police officers, staff and PCSOs is to be commended. Although there is still work to do, Essex Police has made significant improvements in the way in which it recognises and responds to people who are vulnerable.
“Essex Police collaborates well with Kent Police to tackle the most serious and harmful organised crime groups. The force not only pursues and disrupts these high-end criminal organisations but it also works to prevent them from taking root in its communities.
“Overall, I am very encouraged by the progress the force has made and commitment that it demonstrates to improve further. Some of the changes to protecting vulnerable people, especially children, have been recently introduced and will take time to translate into consistently highly effective practices. The force continues to press ahead with reforms at pace and I am confident that it will continue on this journey having seen the impressive work already embarked upon. I will continue to closely monitor the force’s progress over the coming year.”