In response to the published report by HMICFRS on Police Effectiveness, Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas, President of the Police Superintendents’ Association, welcomed the report and the acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment from everyone in the Service. With everyone striving to improve the service to the public and keep them safe, he described the collective effort as the “Best of the Blue Team”.
However, reflecting on his speech at the Association’s conference in September last year, he spoke of a “Perfect Storm” in policing, with rising, new and complex demand, fewer resources, and inconsistency across force boundaries. He called for a debate with everyone in policing, Government and the public on what we want from our police service in the 21st Century, including clarity over what we should not do. He also argued for a debate over how we structure and resource it accordingly. The Policing Minister agreed that this debate needed to happen.
The HMICFRS report highlights areas for concern in neighbourhood policing, which is the bedrock of our model, but has acknowledged the good work by the NPCC and the College of Policing in developing national guidelines – “Modernising Neighbourhood Policing”.
What is concerning are the findings in the report of the service to vulnerable victims, and the volume of demand that is overwhelming aspects of policing. As our members lead the Public Protection Units across England and Wales, our Association has previously examined this area of policing. We highlighted similar concerns, with committed officers and staff doing their best in very challenging circumstances. Whilst the report has acknowledged improvement in service to victims of domestic violence, there is still wide inconsistency across the country in how we protect children and vulnerable adults.
He said “I hope this report provides a stimulus for greater investment in policing, particularly in those areas where the public are most at risk”