HMICFRS Reports 2018
This page provides links to HMICFRS 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 PFCC response to the HMICFRS reports should be published within 30 days of the report being issued.
Letters from the PFCC to the Home Secretary in response to HMIC inspection reports are available below.
Comment from Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
Dear Home Secretary,
I write in response to the HMICFRS Mental Health and Policing Report.
The HMICFRS report into Policing and Mental Health comes at a crucial time for policing and as Essex Police, like many forces, see increasing pressures in line with those outlined in this report.
Whilst there will always be a role for policing to play in dealing with mental health and supporting the most vulnerable in society, this report supports the view that this needs to be as part of a stronger partnership response with a focus on meeting the needs of individuals and ensuring that people in mental health crisis get the help that they need.
Essex Police have been recognised in the report for the development of integrated mental health teams in their force control room – allowing an enhanced service to be offered at point of contact to protect those with mental health problems. I commend Essex Police for their progress in this area and also in their provision of the ‘Feel Well, Live Well’ programme that is run to support our officers and staff. Supporting our organisation in this area is, rightly, important to us.
The OPFCC and Essex Police have been working hard to build a collaborative approach with representatives from local councils and the health sector, to establish a co-ordinated approach to those experiencing a mental health crisis – this has seen a drastic reduction, in line with Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, of people experiencing a mental health crisis being placed in police custody as a place of safety. Instead, a number of more appropriate places of safety have been identified around the county to support these people and help them to recover and access support services.
The introduction of the Street Triage Team in 2016/17 has also led to significant improvements to the service provided. This is a joint team made up officers from Essex Police and mental health workers from local NHS providers. It gives advice and support to officers encountering people in crisis and directs intervention where appropriate. The team delivers a much more appropriate service, while also reducing pressure on the resources of Essex Police and partners.
I welcome this report and the recommendations emanating from it, which the force have embraced and are progressing.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
Comment from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
I welcome the HMICFRS inspection of Essex Police and I am encouraged by their findings that the force has been evaluated as ‘good’ in its effectiveness at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe, investigating crime and reducing reoffending and protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims. I pay tribute to all the hard work that the force has undertaken, and to the efforts of police officers and staff to deliver in these areas.
This report highlights several areas where Essex Police are working well, such as at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB); a comprehensive crime prevention strategy; that it has a good understanding of its communities; the high standard of specialist investigations; provision of victims of crime with a good service; that the force has made considerable efforts to improve its ability to protect vulnerable people, continually improving its understanding of vulnerability in Essex and takes proactive steps to uncover harm that might otherwise be hidden.
However, I recognise that the report also highlights areas where there is still more to do. Despite the sharing of good practice with workforce and partners being an area of improvement in 2016, HMICFRS have still found Essex Police lacking in this area. I believe that where we are continuing to develop our Engagement Strategies, which are bringing great benefit to our work with, and understanding of our local communities, we could indeed look as to how we might further utilise these to embed a sustainable solution in the sharing of good practice and information.
I note that the force should ensure that it provides training and support to all those carrying out and supervising investigations to strive to the high standard of specialist investigations, and the recommendation to review domestic abuse violence protection orders to ensure that it is making best use of these powers.
I also note that the report finds that the force’s management of low-risk registered sex offenders is not in line with national guidelines and that HMICFRS will revisit this area in future inspections.
As PFCC, I will ensure that the Chief Constable and his team have an appropriate approach to the issues which takes proper account of our policing priorities for Essex, and the impact the service’s strategy in these areas has on its high risk activities. We will monitor progress on the work of Essex Police in protecting these areas as part of our regular scrutiny programme, and publish details of this work.
I would like to close by recognising the positive findings of HMIC but also noting that this good work needs to be maintained, monitored and further enhanced to ensure that Essex Police does more to build upon what has been achieved.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex