Concerns about Gloucestershire Constabulary's performance
Concerns have been raised about the overall performance of Gloucestershire Constabulary, despite improvements in some areas, the police inspectorate has said.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Gloucestershire Constabulary’s performance across 11 areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in four areas, ‘adequate’ in one area and ‘inadequate’ in six areas.
HMICFRS said the ‘inadequate’ areas included how the force protects vulnerable people and how it investigates crime.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I recognise that Gloucestershire Constabulary has faced many challenges over the past year in making the transition out of the pandemic. However, I have concerns about the force’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.
“The force’s service to victims of crime is inadequate and it isn’t recording crime effectively. The force is sometimes missing opportunities to safeguard vulnerable people. The way crime is recorded has improved since our last inspection in 2019, but I am concerned that it still isn’t effective, particularly in cases of domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour.
“The force isn’t yet able to respond effectively to calls to the control room or when it deploys officers to incidents, despite establishing a new way of working. The force should gain a better understanding of these demands and be able to manage its resources more effectively as the new system develops.
“The force must make sure that officers have the capacity and ability to investigate reported crimes properly and promptly. Opportunities to prosecute are being missed because investigations are poor, or because officers haven’t collected evidence or persevered in enough cases where the victim no longer wishes to pursue a prosecution. This makes successful prosecutions less likely, which lets victims down.
“The force is good at treating people fairly and with respect and it works well with communities. It is improving its understanding of the use of force and it understands and is improving the way it uses stop and search.
“The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It uses problem solving well and works with other organisations to reduce demand and safeguard vulnerable people.
“The force is good at identifying and tackling serious and organised crime. There has been a significant improvement from the last inspection. Serious and organised crime is now a priority and is being tackled using intelligence. I’m pleased to see the force is working with other organisations to tackle serious and organised crime.
“I will monitor the force’s progress towards addressing the areas I have identified where the force can improve further.”
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- In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
- We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement.
- We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
- However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
- More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.
- For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.