Devon and Cornwall Police graded as ‘good’ in latest HMICFRS Efficiency report
UPDATE: Statement from Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer
"I welcome Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) PEEL – Police Efficiency 2017 national overview and separate Force report which grades Devon and Cornwall Police as ‘good’.
"Within the reports which were released to the media, the Force is identified as recognising and responding to the challenges placed on our services positively – challenges which are only exacerbated by the busy summer period.
"Having faced significant reductions in funding at a time of increasing threat, such as terrorism and cybercrime, I am proud of the progress made in this area especially during the summer months and this is down to the hard work of my staff and officers.
"I am also proud that, despite these reductions, Devon and Cornwall Police still has the highest levels of public confidence of any Force across the country.
"I am also pleased that HMICFRS recognised our progress in relation to non-emergency calls. They have stated that the Force is addressing the problem through training, new shift patterns, new contract terms and new ICT systems. Their report graded Devon and Cornwall Police as ‘good’ overall at keeping people safe, reducing crime, understanding and making the most of its available resources, understanding demand and planning effectively for the future.
"We have made considerable progress in the management of both 101 calls and 999 calls and now have a greater understanding of the demands placed on us. We have worked very hard to make significant improvements in how the public contact us for lower priority issues. We provide clear information to them in order for them to understand whether what they are calling about is a police matter and have developed an online database for them to access further information about non-emergency issues.
"We have also launched a number of communication channels for the public that go straight to our contact centres but that don’t involve waiting on the line during a 101 call such as Live chat, online crime reporting and a two-way community messaging service.
"Changing how the public contacts us takes time, as does proving a definite channel shift away from traditional methods of contacting the police to online and digital methods. However, we have already seen encouraging results – emails to 101 have increased by 26% since the beginning of the year while visits to our online crime reporting facility have increased by 35%.
"I have contacted HMICFRS as it concerned me that initial media reports this morning were negative about the Force and its response to non-emergency calls. The HMICFRS have stated that this was not their intention and has made it clear that the Force has made significant progress."
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Devon and Cornwall Police welcomed a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published today, Thursday 9 November.
The report graded Devon and Cornwall Police as ‘good’ overall at keeping people safe, reducing crime, understanding and making the most of its available resources, understanding demand and planning effectively for the future.
The reports form part of the HMICFRS’ annual inspections of police effectiveness, efficiency, legitimacy and leadership (PEEL).
Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “We welcome the positive nature of the efficiency report and the grading of ‘good’, demonstrating a clear improvement on last year’s findings. Having been faced with significant reductions in funding, this grading is a testament to the hard work that has taken place at all levels across the Force, ensuring we continue to provide a high quality service to the residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“Devon and Cornwall Police is an efficient police force and we acknowledge that we still have work to do to improve further. Over the past year, the Force has worked hard to achieve a greater understanding of the demand placed upon it, both by the communities we serve and any internal demand. Since then, we have made considerable progress on the management of both 101 and 999 calls and some specific areas of demand and will continue to progress this.
“I recognise that the HMICFRS has highlighted clear areas for improvement, such as the Force’s call handling procedures, and I would like to highlight that significant work has already taken place to improve the performance since the inspection took place in the spring. During the time the inspection took place, the Force and other police services nationally were dealing with particularly high demand in our call centres, especially 999 calls.
“Safeguarding remains at the heart of what we do and the Force is continuing to look at developing the service it provides over the next few years. This is in addition to preparations to move to the next phase of our strategic alliance with Dorset Police, including introducing a new service model intended to transform how both forces operate. This is intended to make both forces more efficient, by working more closely together and sharing resources, which has already provided savings for both Forces in a time of reduced resources.
“We are working together with the Police and Crime Commissioner and have firmer plans for future activity which have been discussed with Alison Hernandez as she has developed and published her Police and Crime Plan. Resourcing implications are also discussed as part of the PCC’s plan.”
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