Police forces are generally continuing to manage their resources well, according to the latest report into police efficiency, published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
Two forces have been graded as ‘outstanding’, thirty forces as ‘good’, ten forces as ‘requiring improvement’ and no force as ‘inadequate’.
HMICFRS urged forces to be ‘more ambitious’ and to ‘accelerate’ in their plans for changing how policing services are offered in the future, especially digitally enabled services.
The report concludes that policing is becoming increasingly complex, both in terms of the types of crimes that the police deal with and the number of different organisations with which they have to work, as forces strive to provide the best service to the public
Responding to it, Association President Gavin Thomas said
“I am pleased that HMICFRS have recognised just how stretched policing is and the significant stresses it is facing.
“These include difficult financial decisions, and the challenge of meeting new and different demands which are complex and do not respect traditional force boundaries while at the same time dealing with an 11% rise in traditional crime types.
“I have called this a perfect storm and I still hold to that statement.
“HMICFRS have acknowledged the workforce is dedicated and brave. I believe they are all the more remarkable because this report supports my view that the current model for policing is fundamentally flawed. Services are routinely relying on fewer people working longer and harder.
“This is ultimately unsustainable, especially in the face of the significant challenges arising out of substantial rise in the terrorist threat.
“With the continuing pressure to make more savings, reform faster and fundamentally change the way policing is delivered, then we urgently need a review, involving government and the public, of what policing should and should not be expected to do, and make decisions on funding and resources based on this.
“Otherwise reform will be driven by not by the need to provide the best possible policing service that meets the needs of the public, but primarily by the need to save money.”
The full report is available on the HMICFRS website.