Government report into Essex Police says they must improve how they respond to public (and rates ability to investigate crime as “adequate”).
Crime / Fri 14th Oct 2022 am31 08:43am
ESSEX Police has been told that it must improve how it “responds to the public” following a government inspection.
The report also rates its ability to investigate crime as “adequate”.
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue (HMI) published their report today (Friday).
The full report can be read here
The core criticisms are:
The way the force answers and responds to calls from the public requires
The force is often failing to answer calls within nationally applied standards.
In particular, it needs to improve the time it takes to respond to non-emergency public
calls for service and reduce the abandonment rate and wait times. It also needs to do
more to ensure that routine calls for service are properly assessed and prioritised and
any delays in response are kept to a minimum.
The force needs to improve its service to victims of crime
The force needs to make sure that it complies with the requirements of the Code of
Practice for Victims of Crime (VCOP). This includes offering victims the opportunity to
give a personal statement and completing a victim needs assessment. The force also
needs to improve how it records why victims withdraw their support for investigations
and should make sure it documents whether evidence-led prosecutions have been
considered in all such cases.
The force needs to improve its management of registered sex offenders
The force needs to do more to ensure it has the ability to undertake nationally
recognised risk assessments in a timely manner. It also needs to ensure that the
quality and timeliness of supervisory reviews help it to effectively manage the risk
posed by registered sex offenders (RSOs)
The force is praised for:
The force is good at treating people fairly and with respect
Essex Police works well with communities. It has a good understanding of the effect
that stop and search powers have on different communities. Officers have a good
knowledge of what constitutes reasonable grounds for using these powers, and the
force has put in place an effective system of external scrutiny of their use.
The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour
Essex Police works effectively with other allied organisations to proactively intervene
to protect vulnerable people and to reduce crime and disorder using a range of
prevention and enforcement measures.
The force promotes an ethical and inclusive culture and generally supports
The force has a strong sense of purpose with clear expectations that staff will always
act with professionalism and integrity. The force has a good awareness of the needs
and objectives of its workforce. It provides excellent wellbeing support and a
supportive culture of learning. However, it needs to improve the support given to some
teams dealing with vulnerable victims.
Responding to the publication of the report, Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington QPM said:
“Every Essex Police officer, police staff colleague and volunteer is dedicated to catching criminals and making Essex an even safer place to live and work. Today’s report shows we are focused on preventing crimes and anti-social behaviour from taking place and that we value all our communities.
We also make the most of the resources we have and as the report says, we look after our people so they can do the very best for the villages, towns and cities which we protect and serve. For every pound we receive, we put more officers on the street than any other force in England and Wales. We have a clear plan to ensure that we deliver a better response to anyone who calls us for help and this is well underway, with new officers joining us all the time to make this possible.”
No surprise there😠
It is a deplorable that Essex Police has been failing to effectively identify, manage and mitigate the potential risk posed by high risk registered sex offenders. * Page 26 of the report details active risk management assessments of Registered Sex Offenders that should be conducted annually in a home setting or when circumstances have changed significantly. Essex Police "wasn’t properly managing the potential risks posed by RSOs owing to significantly high numbers of overdue home visits." Furthermore, the report said it "found a high number of overdue ARMs assessments for RSOs, some of whom were assessed as high risk and around a third as medium risk." * Page 27 deals with cases awaiting enforcement action for online child abuse. Each case is assessed for risk, but the majority of outstanding cases were listed as "low risk". However, it was discovered that "reviews don’t include intelligence checks, which would help the force to reassure itself that an individual’s circumstances haven’t changed, especially in terms of access to children and that the risk remains low."
Given the previous comment about managing registered sex offenders, I wonder if Chief Constable Harrington would like to reconsider his remark that “Every Essex Police officer, police staff colleague and volunteer is dedicated to catching criminals and making Essex an even safer place to live and work." Clearly, not an "even safer place" for children. Complacent BJ Harrington needs a wake-up call.