Cheshire Constabulary has been rated ‘good’ in respect of the effectiveness with which it protects vulnerable people and supports victims.
The latest Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) effectiveness report released today (Thursday 22 March 2018) praises the Constabulary for protecting vulnerable victims, investigating crime and managing offenders, preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour as well as serious and organised crime.
The HMICFRS effectiveness report highlights how the Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime, ensures victims of domestic abuse are a priority and has consistent awareness of vulnerability in the workforce.
HMICFRS found the Constabulary has a very good understanding of the threats posed by serious and organised crime especially when carrying out disruption activity on organised criminals. Officers have also been recognised for how they offer interventions to prevent vulnerable people and family members from pursuing a life of crime. The report also found the force focuses on addressing the exploitation of young people travelling to other regions to commit offences, and is proactive in informing and reassuring the public about organised crime.
Deputy Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “It’s vital our local communites have confidence in the Constabulary when providing protection and support to vulnerable people and combating serious and organised crime across our county. I hope the findings in the
HMICFRS report give the public confidence that if they were to be victims of crime we would protect and support them, investigate the crime thoroughly bringing offenders to justice and tackle any concerns they had around anti-social behaviour and serious and organised crime robustly.
“We continue to carry out thorough operations and investigations by putting the victim at the heart of what we do and providing support throughout the investigation and the court process.
“All our officers and staff remain committed to providing a high level of police service to all victims and I am pleased with how the HMICFRS effectiveness report reflects this.”
Protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims
The Constabulary has been praised and graded ‘good’ for protecting and supporting those who are vulnerable. HMICFRS has also acknowledged the force’s effectiveness at identifying vulnerability and how officers and staff have a consistent understanding of the importance around it. The report also states how the force has a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability in the local area.
The report has recognised how victims are treated when they first make contact with the police by the way call handlers show empathy and, when needed, deploy an immediate police response while remaining on the line to provide reassurance.
Victims of domestic abuse are being immediately safeguarded by officers, HMICFRS found, with responsibility continuing throughout the crime investigation.
The report highlighted how the Constabulary has a good ability to identify and support people with mental health problems.
DCC Martland said: “Victims and protecting the public are our utmost priority, in particular those who are most vulnerable in our society and those who suffer with mental health. I am delighted the HMICFRS report identifies how we understand the scale of vulnerability within our local communities and the commitment we give to those most in need.
“Our call handlers play a critical role and show empathy and reassurance, which is imperative as the first point of contact until first response arrive at the scene.”
Tackling serious and organised crime
Since 2016, HMICFRS has seen an improvement in the Constabulary’s understanding of threats posed by serious and organised crime and rates the force as ‘good’ when it comes to tackling it.
The report highlights how the force focuses on addressing the exploitation of young people travelling to other regions to commit offences and how it carries out education initiatives and is proactive in informing and reassuring the public about organised crime.
DCC Martland said: “I am pleased the report continues to recognise the hard work we put in to tackling organised crime and protecting vulnerable people.
“Drug crime remains a big issue for the force and we have specialist officers conducting complex operations to combat organised crime groups who not only blight local communites, but exploit vulnerable people to commit drug offences.
“In order to prevent and disrupt this crime we use structured measures to assess threats and work closely with partners in each local area, while also gathering information from a range of sources including the local community.
“We continue to communicate regularly with the public about serious and organised crime. Operations to target organised crime groups have plans in place to ensure strong messages are delivered to the public and provide reassurance to the community.”
When preventing serious and organised crime, the Constabulary has improved its initiatives to identify, prevent and support those who are at risk of being drawn into organised crime.
After renewing a strategic risk and threat assessment posed by organised crime to the local area, HMICFRS praises the Constabulary on how it has advanced since 2016 by introducing the assessment at a PAN-Cheshire level for protecting vulnerable people. The report states how this has ‘assisted in the effective tackling of child sexual exploitation’.
DCC Martland said: “Overall the HMICFRS effectiveness report is positive for the Constabulary and highlights the hard work and dedication from all our officers, staff and volunteers. Overall we continue to provide an effective police service and we remain dedicated in protecting and supporting victims and committed in disrupting serious and organised crime.”