Cambridgeshire police given ‘good’ rating after inspection

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The county’s police force has been rated ‘good’ by inspectors for keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The report by HMIC says improvements have been made at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, with the force bumped up from its ‘requires improvement’ rating of last year.

Inspectors said the constabulary has an effective approach to preventing and tacking anti-social behaviour and serious and organised crime.

It has also improved the service it provides to vulnerable victims.

However, improvements have been called for in how the police investigates crime.

The report states Cambridgeshire Constabulary:

. Is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It has a good understanding of its communities and the threats they face

. Is good at preventing crime, although community police officers are sometimes taken away from their core role to support response teams, which limits their ability to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour.

. Has a good understanding of its communities and the threats they face

. Assesses incidents consistently, but does not always have enough officers and staff available to respond to demand

. Needs to improve the quality of initial investigations and ensure that there is effective supervision

. Does not always carry out investigations thoroughly, and that they often lack consistency, planning and supervision. However, those attending crime scenes generally exploit the forensic opportunities well

. Needs to provide victims with a more consistent service and timely updates, as well as the opportunity to complete a victim personal statement

. Does not manage ‘outstanding’ suspects successfully

. Is adequate at handling dangerous and sexual offenders

. Is good at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims

. Is good at tackling serious and organised crime, working well with local and national partner organisations and other forces in the region to disrupt organised crime groups

. Is doing some good work with schools to identify vulnerable young people who may be at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime

. Is well prepared to respond to a firearms attack and is increasing its firearms capacity and capability to provide resilience and to support the national response.

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “We accept the findings of HMIC’s effectiveness inspection, and are delighted to have achieved an overall ‘good’ judgement.

“We have worked hard over the past year to improve how we prevent crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and keep people safe. Our focus on protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims has been paramount, and we are pleased HMIC have recognised how our partnership working is making a difference to how effectively we deal with victims of these crimes.

“However, we understand there are always areas for improvement and we are working hard to address those, in particular looking at how we manage the demand coming into our organisation and ensuring consistency in our investigations across the force.

“We are pleased the report acknowledges our integrated offender management scheme, which has had success in reducing reoffending and diverting people from involvement in organised crime, and also the good work we have done with schools to identify vulnerable young people who may be at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime.

“HMIC’s findings should help reassure the people of Cambridgeshire around our specialist capabilities, and that through our regular testing of public order, firearms and civil emergencies across the region and with partner organisations, we are well prepared to respond to any major incident or emergency.

“While there were no specific recommendations made by HMIC, we continue to strive for greater effectiveness, we take heed of their areas of improvement and are reassured that they can see we continue to make good progress in the right direction.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire Jason Ablewhite said: “I am pleased that HMIC has recognised the good work and positive steps that the Constabulary’s officers and staff and our partners are doing every day to make Cambridgeshire a safe place.

“There is always more work to be done, however, today’s ‘good’ rating should reassure the public that we are continuing to make good progress, particularly in the area of protecting those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

To read the report in full, visit the HMIC website.