Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today published the first PEEL inspection of Essex Police.
Following the publication of their findings, Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“I am pleased with the findings of the first PEEL assessment of Essex Police, which is largely positive. Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) found Essex Police to be good at reducing crime, preventing offending and tackling anti-social behaviour. Reducing offending and preventing crime are the very core of what police exist to do and I, and I’m sure Essex residents, will be pleased to hear that our force is performing well in this respect.
However inspectors also found that Essex Police has some improvements to be made around the investigation of crimes. HMIC found the force to have inconsistences in skills and training of investigative staff and that some opportunities for resolving crime are missed. This is not a surprise and something I have already discussed with the Chief Constable. On arrival he made improving detections a priority for the force and it has already made strides to improve its investigative capability, particularly around domestic abuse with the reintroduction of specialist dedicated teams. I know the Chief Constable is firmly committed to building on these improvements.
I also welcome the HMIC findings that show that Essex Police’s Chief Constable and chief officers have shown strong leadership on the importance of officers following policies and procedures appropriately and in addressing the standards of behaviour and integrity of staff. The public should expect their police officers to behave with the utmost courtesy and integrity at all times and, in Essex, those values remain a priority for the leadership of Essex Police. There are of course, and always will be, cases where officers’ behaviour and actions fall short of the expected standard and Essex Police has an effective procedure for dealing with those cases where they arise.
I am pleased to see that HMIC found that Essex Police has responded well to the financial challenges of the government spending review, singling out the collaboration with Kent Police for praise in the savings it has delivered. Crucially the report also states Essex Police “is successfully protecting frontline police officer crime-fighting roles while also making the necessary savings”. This forms a guiding principle for myself when setting the force’s budget and for Essex Police’s Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh when he decides operationally where that money will be spent. There is no doubt that there are further financial challenges ahead but the people of Essex should rest assured that they and victims of crime will also be at the heart of decisions I and Essex Police make.”
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