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Lack of 'impartiality, balance and fairness' in inspectorate assessments, claims PCC
Fedster + posted a topic in Police Oracle FeaturesPoorly-funded force received inadequate rating last year. Kathryn Holloway says Bedfordshire Police has been treated unfairly Complaints about the way a force was inspected have been referred to legal counsel. Bedfordshire Police was rated as inadequate for effectiveness last year by HMICFRS and was told it requires improvement in its efficiency this year. The force has long said it does not receive enough funding. Police Oracle has previously reported that chief officers in the force have raised issues with inspections – and now PCC Kathryn Holloway has revealed a formal complaint has been made. She said: "I have to confirm that very regrettably in July of this year I had to take the first complaint in its history against HMICFRS to question a lack of impartiality, balance and fairness [in not] properly recognising the context in which my force operates. "I would contend that there's nothing fair about putting together a report which contains a handful of phrases which point to the acute financial challenges, the lack of resources, the lack of officers and then putting together recommendations, implied or stated, as actions to take, which are known to be unaffordable, and as a result unachievable. "[This is] suggesting to the public that this is a matter of choice rather than, as is the case, of necessity." She told MPs at the Home Affairs Committee the inspectorate's own metrics show the force works "miracles based on the budget they have". The Conservative added: "The chief inspector of constabulary now assures me that there will be an independent investigation led by a QC." Ms Holloway's spokesman clarified to Police Oracle the complaint has been made jointly with the force and said it is not about one single assessment rating, but the process. A spokeswoman for HMICFRS said: "HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor has referred those representations to leading counsel for evaluation, and it is likely that a report from leading counsel to the chief inspector will be produced in April 2018. "The investigation does not amount to a re-inspection of the efficiency and effectiveness of Bedfordshire Police.” In a debate on the funding of the force on Monday night, Policing Minister Nick Hurd said he recognises the force is working to improve its performance after its recent ratings. He added: "Those judgments have been challenged, and the leadership is working tirelessly, as I said, to improve those ratings. "However, we must recognise the challenging context and that comparable forces in what we call the most similar group - Essex and Kent - are rated good in all those categories while receiving funding per head that is equal to or lower than Bedfordshire’s." He said he is working on funding assessments for police forces across the country. View on Police Oracle