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Found 7 results

  1. https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/news/news-feed/police-cannot-continue-to-fill-the-gaps-left-by-other-agencies/ Police forces are having to pick up the slack as cuts in other public services increase pressure on them, according to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor, in a report published today. In his annual State of Policing report, Sir Thomas draws attention to material pressures on police forces in England and Wales, which put the service under strain. The principal pressures he highlights are as a result of: the failures of other public services, especially in respect of children’s and adolescent mental health, too often making the police the service of first resort, long after the chances of effective prevention have been lost; the modern tsunami of online fraud; increased police awareness of crimes against vulnerable people, including the elderly and the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, requiring the devotion of higher specialist police resources; and the fragmented state of police information and communications technology. The report highlights that 18 forces require improvement in at least one of HMIC’s principal inspection themes of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Reflecting on last month’s attack in Westminster, Sir Thomas paid tribute to the bravery of police officers: “Every day and every night, police officers do things that most of us would go out of our way to avoid. This has been illustrated to a tragically graphic extent by the Westminster terrorist attack in which one very brave police officer, PC Keith Palmer, lost his life. “Police officers do a difficult job professionally, conscientiously and compassionately, and they deserve our grateful thanks.” When considering the daily pressures to which the police are subject, Sir Thomas warned against the insidious creep of expecting police forces to be able to deal with the increasing demand caused by a shortage in mental health provision. Sir Thomas said: “The police are considered to be the service of last resort. In some areas, particularly where people with mental health problems need urgent help, the police are increasingly being used as the service of first resort. This is wrong. “The provision of mental healthcare has reached such a state of severity that police are often being used to fill the gaps that other agencies cannot. This is an unacceptable drain on police resources, and it is a profoundly improper way to treat vulnerable people who need care and help. “The obligation of the police is to prevent crime. This is not only because this makes society safer – both in reality and in perception – but also because it is far cheaper to prevent a crime than it is to investigate and arrest the offender after the event. The same is true of mental ill-health, which is not a crime. It is an old adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and this is particularly true when the cure fails and an emergency intervention is required to protect the safety of an individual in distress and, often, people nearby. By the time depression or some other mental disorder has been allowed to advance to the point that someone is contemplating suicide, or engaging in very hazardous behaviour, many opportunities to intervene will have been missed by many organisations. When that intervention takes place on a motorway bridge or railway line, or when someone is holding a weapon in a state of high distress, the expense to all concerned is far higher than it should be. The principal sufferer is the person who is ill, especially when it is realised that his or her suffering could have been much less or even avoided altogether.” Whilst there are examples of excellence found in the HMIC inspections over the last year, police leaders need to focus more on what matters most, by planning properly for the future, by ensuring that their officers and staff are properly trained, supported and equipped, and by improving the pace of improvement significantly. The report says that the police are particularly far behind many other organisations in the way they use technology. Used well, modern technology should give the police an unprecedented ability to exchange, retrieve and analyse intelligence. Sir Thomas summed up: “The changing nature of crime, and the increasing opportunities to exploit the vulnerability of children and the elderly in particular, creates a greatly intensified need for police leaders to improve their efficiency and effectiveness to prevent crime and deal with offences. “In too many cases, police leaders are still too sluggish in ensuring their plans to meet new demands are sound, particularly in the need to ensure the complete interoperability of law enforcement information and communications systems. “For too long, a culture of insularity, isolationism and protectionism has prevented chief officers from making the most effective use of the technology available to them. The blinkers have to come off.” This year, HMIC has been able to compare year-on-year performance of each police force, and therefore assess the direction of each force and the police service as a whole. Forces are assessed against three broad categories: effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Overall, in comparison with 2015: in relation to effectiveness, 10 police forces improved, 26 stayed the same and seven forces declined; in relation to efficiency, six forces improved, 30 stayed the same and seven forces declined; and in relation to legitimacy, four forces improved, 36 stayed the same and three forces declined. Overall, in HMIC inspections, the judgments which are made in relation to the efficiency and effectiveness of the police are predominantly about how well the police use their money and other resources, not about how much funding forces have at their disposal. Across the 43 police forces of England and Wales, four forces were judged to be ‘outstanding’ against one or more of these categories; only one force – Bedfordshire Police – was found to be ‘inadequate’ for one category, but 18 forces were found to ‘require improvement’ in one or more categories. On 12 April 2017, HMIC published assessments by each of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary on the performance of the 43 police forces in England and Wales over the last year. State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2016
  2. Fresh spending cuts threaten to undermine the financial sustainability and operational viability of some police forces, the official policing watchdog has warned. For full story please use the following link. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/20/policing-uncharted-waters-cuts-hmic I just wonder how the government will spin this or will they simply ignore these warnings? After all its obvious that they are right about police reforms and everyone else is wrong :-) I did find this quote concerning though "It was “conceptually possible” that even efficient forces could struggle to remain viable, the report said." To me it seems to warn that every force is at risk, regardless of size or how well they have adjusted to the reductions in funding.
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-34581100
  4. More people are likely to die in shootings unless firearms rules are overhauled, a watchdog has warned. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies said it was easier to own a gun than become a bus driver because of flaws in medical checks. The HMIC said the licensing system for England and Wales has fundamental gaps and previous recommendations for reforms had not been acted on. Only four of 11 forces it inspected were effectively monitoring licences. As of March last year, 734,336 people were entitled to possess and use shotguns or rifles under the legal system for licensing and certificating firearms in England and Wales. In total, these people owned more than 1.8m guns. Gun crime is very low in the UK - and murders and manslaughters involving shootings are relatively rare. There were 29 in the year to March 2014 - and three of those involved a legally held firearm. Stephen Otter, the inspector behind the report, said that while evidence showed that licensed gun holders were very unlikely to be involved in crime, cases where individuals did shoot themselves or others, such as in domestic disputes, often had medical conditions at their root. "It is highly likely that if these processes are not tightened up satisfactorily, there will be another tragedy, particularly if you look at mental health and growing issues around dementia," he said. "Too often, forces are not following the Home Office guidance that is in place, sometimes inexcusably compromising public safety. Lessons from past tragedies have not always been learnt and this fails the victims of those events, including their families, unacceptably." Gun ownership in England and Wales151, 413 firearms certificates on issue as of March 2014 - typically meaning sports rifles582,923 shotgun certificates on issue1,837,243 shotguns and firearms licensed72% increase in licensed firearms between 1998 and 2014260 certificates revoked as a result of a review and 949 applications refused Each police force oversees licensing in its area - but the HMIC said the national guidelines were being inconsistently and inadequately applied and lessons from past tragedies had not always been learnt. Applicants must disclose any relevant medical condition and give the police permission to speak to their GP. However, doctors don't have to respond to the police request - and in practice many licences are issued without policing having completed full medical checks or speaking to referees. The HMIC said that these gaps in the rules meant someone applying to become a bus driver faced more rigorous medical checks than someone who wanted a gun. It called on all applicants to be subjected to a mandatory medical examination as part of their application - and said doctors should be under a duty to record gun ownership and, critically, alert the police to any relevant deterioration in health. Policing minister Mike Penning said: "The Government keeps the firearms licensing system under review to safeguard against abuse by criminals and to preserve public safety. "Discussions are already under way with the police and the medical profession to ensure appropriate arrangements for information sharing between GPs and police." Flaws in medical checks 'could lead to shootings, watchdog warns - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34248179 Sorry folks correct link now added :-)
  5. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32036443
  6. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-31359158
  7. Victims of crime are being let down in areas covered by nearly half of the police forces in England and Wales by poor investigations, a policing watchdog has said.   In its annual assessment of the state of policing in England and Wales, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said it was of "material concern" that 18 forces out of 43 were assessed as requiring improvement in the way they investigate offending.   Inspectors said a "deficit in skill and experience of officers investigating crimes" and a lack of supervision was behind weak investigations.     In the 12 months to March, only one force - Dyfed-Powys - in England and Wales was able to achieve detections, which include cautions as well as charges, for more than half of the crimes recorded. Detection rates range from 22% to 51%. "Opportunities to secure a successful outcome for victims of crime are being missed as a result of failures to conduct an effective, prompt and professional investigation," the HMIC report said.   Failures to do house-to-house inquiries, take photos of injuries in domestic abuse cases and collect CCTV evidence on assaults in public places were among some of the inconsistencies found in the way evidence was gathered, the report said.   Crimes are being investigated by officers who also provide neighbourhood policing services such as patrols, some of whom have not investigated crimes for a number of years, inspectors said.   Inspection plans - used by officers to determine what they need to do gather evidence - were of a poor standard in 18 forces, with some officers copying and pasting previous versions to new investigations.   HMIC has also launched a new website to allow the public to see at a glance how well their force is performing. Elsewhere, the inspectorate raised concerns about forces' ability to keep up with modern criminal activity, including cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation.   Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor said officers were " policing the crimes of today with the methods of yesterday and insufficiently prepared for the crimes of the future".   HMIC assessed the " effectiveness , efficiency and legitimacy" of each force.   In relation to effectiveness, 40 forces were rated good or outstanding at preventing and reducing crime with three forces - Gwent, Bedfordshire and Humberside - requiring improvement.   Some 41 forces are good or outstanding at tackling anti-social behaviour with two forces - Gwent and Cleveland - requiring improvement.   However, only 24 forces were assessed as good at investigating crime.   In relation to efficiency, 40 forces were rated good or outstanding for the value for money provided with three forces - Bedfordshire, Gwent and Nottinghamshire - rated as requiring improvement.   Shadow policing minister Jack Dromey said: "This report is very worrying - it is just not good enough for half of police forces to be rated less than 'good' at investigating crime.   "This is surely a central plank of policing and raises serious questions for the Government about their approach to cutting crime. Theresa May cannot expect to cut 16,000 police officers and still deliver the highest standards of policing the public want and deserve.   "HMIC is right to draw attention to the changing nature of crime. Labour has been calling for the Government to take action against the rising wave of cybercrime - from fraud to the grooming of children.   "The Home Secretary has ignored this - and, as this report highlights, the police do not have the resource or expertise to respond to the scale of these offences."   Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "Chiefs whose forces have fallen short on the standard of crime investigation will be analysing the reasons for this and taking action to improve on this crucial area of policing."   Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "We have been warning there are issues around what the service can provide against cuts to funding and police numbers. Although we are pleased that the majority of forces are performing well, we know that officers are struggling to provide the service they believe the public deserve."   The 18 force s that require improvement in investigating practices are:   Bedfordshire Dorset Essex Gloucestershire Greater Manchester Gwent Humberside Lincolnshire Metropolitan Police Northamptonshire North Wales North Yorkshire Nottinghamshire South Yorkshire Staffordshire Surrey Sussex West Yorkshire   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2851509/Forces-letting-crime-victims-down.html   The HMIC report is available here: http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/state-of-policing-13-14.pdf