West Midlands Police has made progress, but more work is needed
West Midlands Police has made progress in several areas of policing, but more work is needed to improve its overall performance, the police inspectorate has said.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded West Midlands Police’s performance across 11 areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in five areas, ‘adequate’ in three areas and ‘requires improvement’ in three areas.
HMICFRS said the areas requiring improvement included how the force investigates crime and how it protects vulnerable people.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of West Midlands Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are areas where the force needs to improve.
“West Midlands Police uses problem solving and works with other organisations to prevent crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability. The force has introduced new systems and training so that control room staff can identify risks more accurately when members of the public make contact.
“The force has also made progress against the national recommendations for monitoring and analysing stop and search data, which should result in a fairer service to the public. I am pleased by the force’s efforts to make sure its workforce reflects its diverse communities.
“However, there are several areas for improvement. The force must improve how it carries out proportionate, thorough and prompt investigations into reported crimes. It lacks capacity in its investigation teams and investigations aren’t always overseen effectively, so it is less likely that there will be a satisfactory result for the victim.
“I am pleased with some aspects of the way West Midlands Police protects vulnerable people. But it can’t meet the demand for its services in protecting vulnerable people with the resources it has.
“West Midlands Police also needs to improve its management of sex offenders. It should make sure it has the capacity and capability to mitigate the risk sex offenders pose to the public.
“The force hasn’t yet met the recommendation we made in 2019 that all police forces should comply immediately with national guidance on vetting. But it has made progress and it has an achievable plan to meet this recommendation.
“I have seen evidence of good work at West Midlands Police across several areas of policing, and I will monitor 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.