Essex Police: Public can be confident we’re stopping the wrong people joining
Crime / Tue 20th Jun 2023 at 07:01am
“THE public can be confident we’re stopping the wrong people joining Essex Police” – that’s the message from our Deputy Chief Constable after we were rated as ‘good’ for vetting and counter-corruption.
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) carried out an inspection of our Vetting and Counter Corruption Units and processes in November 2022.
In its report, the HMICFRS states there was no disproportionality in vetting refusals for people who declared a protected characteristic, applicants from ethnic minority groups are supported by an extra staff member, and people are monitored if intelligence indicates they pose a higher risk of sexual misconduct.
The report acknowledges that our process for making vetting decisions is being adopted by other vetting units in the south east.
The report also confirms our policies designed to prevent corruption are “comprehensive”.
And that the support offered to employees who report sexual misconduct means “people may be more confident to report [it]”.
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “On behalf of the communities of Essex, the force expects the highest standards of professional behaviour from all officers and staff.
“Essex Police has one of the best and most effective vetting units in the UK and we’re confident we’re stopping the wrong people joining the force.
“In the last year, the force has turned away 119 people who did not meet our high standards and values.
“We vet, and re-vet, colleagues in line with the approved national guidance.
“The force will continue to take a proactive and robust approach in dealing with allegations of poor conduct.
“We are proud of the fact the overwhelming majority of officers and staff do a difficult job, brilliantly.”
The report did find an area for improvement and that we should increase staffing in the Counter Corruption Unit to improve how we collect, assess, develop, and investigate counter-corruption intelligence to meet demand and allow proactive intelligence. We acknowledge the recommendation and our progressing addressing it.
In Section 4 relating to Counter Corruption it says Essex Police "has an anonymous confidential reporting line. Between 1 January 2020 and November 2022, it received 132 reports." It goes on to say the inspection examined 60 corruption intelligence files and in 2 cases no action was taken. The report says these 2 'no action' cases "may have resulted in missed opportunities to develop the intelligence further and mitigate corruption risks." Essex Police need to be more vigilant and pro-active in corruption issues which undermine the criminal justice system.
The report also states a lack of resources relating to countering corruption which poses a risk to Essex Police. Quote: "The Counter Corruption Unit (CCU) is a small team of experienced detectives and a crime analyst. The CCU develops potential corruption intelligence. When further investigation is required, the CCU hands over the investigation to the Professional Standards Department. We found very few cases investigated wholly by the CCU. This is due to limited resources. Until the engagement and prevention team referred to earlier in this report are in post, the existing specialist CCU resources can’t focus sufficiently upon corruption investigations. This is a risk to the force."
With regards to the new engagement and prevention team the report says: "The CCU has recruited a new prevention and engagement lead. It is actively recruiting four further prevention staff." Will the Deputy Chief Constable keep us updated on progress with this?
I wish I could believe it. The police who acted for Councillor Nick Churchill still can't provide evidence that I threatened him. I have asked many times over the last 18 months. So I still reject the police warning, and want to go to court.
Thank you David for your additional information. Too often the Public Relations people present a clever story that needs questioning by people 'in the know'.