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Cambridgeshire PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and preventing offending; good at investigating crime and good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

Cambridgeshire has seen crime reduce in the county over the last four years with a greater reduction than the England and Wales rate. Cambridgeshire has comparatively low levels of anti-social behaviour.

In the fight against crime, the force is collaborating with Hertfordshire Constabulary and Bedfordshire Police to be more efficient and to meet austerity measures. Nevertheless, the bedrock of policing rests firmly with safer neighbourhood teams in six policing districts, which retain a strong identity and relationship with the county and its communities.

The force has developed sophisticated joint working arrangements with the county council, district councils and the unitary authority to support victims who are vulnerable or repeatedly targeted. A range of other service providers also work closely with the force to manage offenders who are the most likely to cause harm in communities and criminals who are most likely to reoffend.

Through strong focus on the most vulnerable and individuals with a propensity to cause most harm in society, the force is making Cambridgeshire a safer place.

Further insights on effectiveness

 

The domestic abuse inspection identified significant concerns about the ability of Cambridgeshire to deal consistently and appropriately with victims of domestic abuse, and to reduce the risk of harm to them. Immediate remedial action was taken by the force and a reinspection found that although the force has made substantial improvements, there was still much to do. The crime inspection found evidence that Cambridgeshire had improved its approach to investigating domestic abuse and protecting victims.

The crime inspection found that opportunities were exploited to disrupt organised crime groups by arresting criminals for offences which were secondary to their mainstream activity.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Cambridgeshire Police had, or had access to through collaboration with other forces regionally, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not a large-scale cyber incident.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has moved away from a focus on particular types of crime. It now prioritises work with partners to support effectively the most vulnerable victims and curtail the offending patterns of the most harmful criminals.

There has been a 22 percent reduction in crime in Cambridgeshire over the past four years, which is a greater reduction than the rate for England and Wales.

The force constantly assesses demands on its services, levels of crime, anti-social behaviour and new and emerging patterns of criminality. This facilitates a flexible deployment of resources to where they are most needed.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

Cambridgeshire Constabulary works well with other agencies to manage prolific and high harm offenders. This approach provides support to individuals with genuine needs (e.g., drugs dependency), as well as targeting those who turn away from rehabilitation and continue to break the law.

The quality of investigation of crime lacks consistency. Crimes are effectively allocated, but ongoing enquiries and supervision are areas for improvement.

Victim care is prioritised by the chief constable. It is a constant theme from when contact is first made with the police, throughout investigations and when cases are prepared for court.

Good
3

How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has strong relationships with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour. These are based on routine sharing of information, timely needs assessments of victims and active participation to provide help. The force’s role is pivotal in uniting public services to support the most vulnerable.

The force uses communication well both to set out its values and to gain a better understanding of community needs. Local press, social media and community alerts both inform the public and seek out feedback on what is most important to them.

Early interventions to encourage offenders to moderate their behaviour, enforcing the law against those who repeatedly offend and a commitment to victims mean that anti-social behaviour is a clear priority for the force.

Good
4

How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?

The domestic abuse inspection identified significant concerns about the ability of Cambridgeshire Constabulary to deal consistently and appropriately with victims of domestic abuse and to reduce the risk of harm to them. Immediate remedial action was taken by the force and a reinspection found that, although the force has made substantial improvements, there was still much to do.

The crime inspection found evidence that Cambridgeshire had improved its approach to investigating domestic abuse and protecting victims. The domestic abuse units were now better resourced and innovative ideas were being put in place to protect the most vulnerable. The inspection also reviewed Cambridgeshire’s domestic abuse action plan which outlines the activity the force is taking to improve its response to domestic abuse and includes the changes that the force rapidly implemented as a result of the HMIC recommendations from the domestic abuse inspection. The force approach is in line with the national priorities identified.

Ungraded
5

How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?

The crime inspection found that opportunities were exploited to disrupt organised crime groups by arresting criminals for offences which were ancillary to their mainstream activity.

The value for money inspection found that the force gave due consideration to national requirements, particularly in relation to the regional and national impact of serious and organised crime originating in the force area.

Ungraded
6

How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that the chief constable understood his role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. Cambridgeshire Constabulary had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder threats, but not that of a large-scale cyber incident. This had enabled the force to identify how much resource it needed to manage and respond to these threats with the exception of a large-scale cyber incident. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and Cambridgeshire is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

HMIC found that Cambridgeshire had, or had access to through collaboration with other forces regionally, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not a large-scale cyber incident.

Cambridgeshire was able to operate effectively with other police forces and emergency services to respond to public disorder and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

In Cambridgeshire, HMIC found that connectivity with other forces was effective for responding to terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not large-scale cyber incidents.

Ungraded