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Inspection finds Derbyshire Police are improving

The latest Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) has found that Derbyshire Constabulary is continuing to make progress, but in some areas further improvement is needed.

The inspection, which took place earlier this year, found:

  • The force needs to improve the time it takes to respond to emergency calls and ensure repeat victims are recorded, in a timely way
  • Improvements have been made in identifying and recording crime which means crime data is more accurate, and crimes are being allocated to appropriate staff for investigation. Recording crimes of rape and reported incidents of rape are done well, however, recording crime when antisocial behaviour is reported needs to be improved, as well as the recording of equality data
  • Thorough investigations were not always being carried out, with a lack of effective supervision of investigations
  • There is a comprehensive approach to improving the force’s use of stop and search powers, with external scrutiny of body-worn video recordings
  • The force’s problem-solving culture is embedded at a local level, but this has been impacted by a number of vacancies in its neighbourhood policing teams, also reducing capacity to engage its communities
  • There is a lack of detailed understanding of current demand
  • Victims receive regular updates on the progress of investigations. In the cases audited, regular updates were conducted in 54 of 57 cases, meaning victims felt supported
  • There is no consistent risk assessment process used to help prioritise reported incidents or record repeat victims by call handlers
  • The force has made vulnerability a priority and are changing the culture, improving the ability to safeguard

Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “This inspection has come at a time of significant challenge and change across Derbyshire Constabulary, with many processes beginning to be embedded and teams being redefined to provide a consistent service.

“I welcome the inspection from HMICFRS who recognise the progress we have made and acknowledge the clear plans we have in place to get us to where we need to be.

“There are a number of areas of improvement that have been highlighted in the report, some of which we are already taking steps to progress, and others which will be delivered shortly.

“From January there will be a full implementation of a Crime and Intelligence Directorate, which brings together resources and increases supervision to ensure a force-wide approach to improving our investigations across areas including Rape and Serious Sexual Offences, child protection and domestic abuse.

“There continues to be investment in our control room, with new technology, improved processes, increased resources and training to better manage demand and ensure those who call us in their time of need get help in a timely and consistent way.

“This is already seeing improvements, which will continue as more people join the department.

“The force is delivering against its Uplift police officer recruitment targets, which means the vacancies in our safer neighbourhood teams will be filled in the new year, strengthening our commitment to maintaining our neighbourhood policing footprint and other resources will be dedicated to frontline roles.

“The inspectors from HMICFRS are confident that the leadership and processes that we have in place will address a number of the areas that they have highlighted, and I know that my officers and staff are extremely committed to serving the public of Derbyshire.

“There are already plans in place to improve our management of outstanding suspects and offenders, and we will be looking to maximise the wealth of data that we have available to us.

“We are working hard to ensure continuous improvement; and will be bolstering our frontline, focusing on local policing and taking action when calls for service are needed.”

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