Cambridgeshire Police 'making good progress' HM Inspectorate finds

Chief Constable Alec Wood with Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite
Chief Constable Alec Wood with Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite

Cambridgeshire Police have been rated as 'good' at keeping people safe and reducing crime by HMICFRS (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services)

The report demonstrated a significant step forward for the force since its 2016 report and showed the great strides being made to provide the best service for the people of Cambridgeshire.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said: “I am very pleased to report that since our previous inspection in 2016 Cambridgeshire Constabulary has improved the efficiency with which is keeps people safe and reduces crime. It is now judged to be ‘good’ in these areas.

"It is very encouraging to see a force improve and to strive to further improve. In particular, the force is making good progress in improving its understanding of demand for its services but recognises that it can continue to do more.

"The force understands the factors that affect demand and uses a risk-based approach to manage and prioritise its response. Since our inspection the force put in place a plan for improving how it answers non-emergency calls within a reasonable time."

ACC Dan Vajzovic said: “We welcome the HMICFRS report and conclusion that Cambridgeshire Constabulary is a 'good' force.

“We have worked very hard over the past 12 months to improve in the areas we were not doing so well in last year, and we are reassured that HMICFRS has recognised the progress we have made towards managing our demand, including how we use the resources we have to deal with the needs of our community, alongside our partner agencies.

“While there are always areas for improvement, we are pleased the report acknowledges the investment we have made in the development of our leaders, the contingencies and plans we have in place to deal with the uncertain financial future and the commitment we continue to make to keep the people of Cambridgeshire safe.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, said: “I welcome the good grading and the recognition of the significant work carried out to address the issues highlighted in the previous report, particularly around understanding the changing demand and making sure we are planning ahead to be able to meet that demand. I consider this an exceptional performance given the very difficult environment we find ourselves in with reducing resources and increasing demand.

“People should be in no doubt about the significant challenges we face in the years ahead. Many difficult decisions will need to be made in order to meet changing crime and the requirement to find a further £10 million in savings in the next four years. Cambridgeshire Constabulary has a very strong leadership team and I am working with them to ensure that plans are in place to meet the challenges ahead.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham added: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary uses and allocates its resources well and is developing a new policing model to improve its flexibility and how it matches resources to demand. It has good investment plans and is working well with other organisations, like local councils, to manage demand for services.

"The force has a good understanding of the operational skills and capabilities of its current workforce and it is identifying future requirements and the resources that will be needed. The force is part of a strategic alliance with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary, which should increase the opportunities to improve diversity and to identify and nurture talent.

“The force has good plans for implementing the changes necessary to deal with an uncertain financial future. It has a prudent approach to savings and good investment plans. The chief constable and the police and crime commissioner work closely with Bedfordshire Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary and with other local organisations to help improve efficiency. I commend the force for the positive steps it is taking to enhance its efficiency. ”