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#017/2010 – Humberside Police Authority is ‘performing adequately’ and improving

Humberside Police Authority performs ‘adequately’, according to a new report released today by the Audit Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

On a scale from one to four, the joint inspection team assessed the Authority’s performance as ‘two’ – performing adequately.

Humberside Police Authority comprises 17 members (9 councillors and 8 independent members). The Authority is responsible for securing an efficient and effective police force for Humberside and holding the Chief Constable to account.

Members of the Authority have high expectations of Humberside Police Force. The Authority is increasingly effective at holding the Chief Constable to account and challenging the Police Force to improve. This has led to an overall drop in crime across Humberside and in specific local communities. The Authority uses information effectively and is striving to better understand the needs of different communities across Humberside so these are reflected in future policing priorities. However, it needs to do more to make sure that taxpayers get good value for money.

Audit Commission senior manager Tim Priestley, spokesperson for the joint inspection team, said:

’Humberside Police Authority is improving the way it works. Members talk to local people and listen to their concerns which has helped focus on improving policing performance. The Authority does scrutinise and challenge the Force’s performance to give local people more confidence in the police. Partnership working is good. Members work well with other public services, such as councils, to help improve the safety of Humberside residents. The Authority is getting a better focus on ensuring value for money from policing but it needs to do much more especially given the current economic climate.‘

Strengths include:

  • The leadership and influence of the Authority on Policing Plans and priorities has improved and is now effective. It finds out what matters to local people and effectively involves other organisations in deciding policing priorities.
  • Authority members have effectively challenged the Force, leading to falls in crime across Humberside and within different communities.
  • Authority members use neighbourhood visits to check out the impact of policing services on the ground and to increase their understanding of performance.
  • The Authority has challenged the Force to respond to community concerns, for example, how the Force dealt with calls. This led to extra investment and action – and a dramatic improvement in how calls were dealt with.

Areas for improvement include:

  • A better understanding of the differences in performance by the Force at a local level to ensure local people get a consistently good service.
  • The Authority needs to ensure that its work with other public organisations is focused on the most important matters so it uses its resources more effectively.
  • The Authority needs to make sure that training and development of members helps them to fulfil their roles and responsibilities more effectively.
  • Better oversight of the Force’s change management programme. This is important to ensure improvements in services are maintained at the same time as making £15 million of savings over future years.

Following today’s report Humberside Police Authority will plan what it needs to do to improve its performance in the areas indicated.

Copies of the report are available from Humberside Police Authority or from the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk and the HMIC website www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/inspections/police-authority-inspections.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Humberside Police Authority is one of 43 police authorities in England and Wales. It is responsible for securing an efficient and effective police force for Humberside and holding the Chief Constable to account.
  2. Police authority inspection provides a simple report in a straightforward way about how well each police authority is performing. It encourages police authorities to focus on continuous improvement and provides a robust independent challenge to stimulate positive change. Ultimately it is about working to improve the quality of services police authorities provide to local people.
  3. The Audit Commission is an independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local public services to deliver better outcomes for everyone.
  4. Our work across local government, health, housing, community safety and fire and rescue services means that we have a unique perspective. We promote value for money for taxpayers, auditing the £200 billion spent by 11,000 local public bodies.
  5. As a force for improvement, we work in partnership to assess local public services and make practical recommendations for promoting a better quality of life for local people.
  6. Further information about the Audit Commission: www.audit-commission.gov.uk.
  7. HMIC is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest and rigorously examines the effectiveness of police forces and authorities to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence.
  8. Further information about HMIC: www.hmic.gov.uk.
  9. For more information, or for an embargoed copy of the full report, contact David Rose at the Audit Commission on 0844 798 6654 or d-rose@audit-commission.gov.uk.