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#023/2010 – Hertfordshire Police Authority is ‘performing well’

Hertfordshire Police Authority is ‘performing well’, according to an independent 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 ‘three’, which represents good performance.

Inspectors found that Hertfordshire Police Authority has contributed to the improved performance of policing in Hertfordshire over the past five years. It set the Chief Constable a clear remit to improve local policing performance and this is being delivered. The Authority is recognised nationally for its strong promotion of collaborative working to achieve value for money. The way in which the Authority engages with the public is adequate and improving. Monitoring of risk information is adequate but there are opportunities for further development.

Hertfordshire Police Authority comprises 17 members (nine councillors and eight independent members), and is responsible for securing an efficient and effective police force for Hertfordshire and holding the Chief Constable to account.

The Audit Commission’s Edwina Child, spokesperson for the joint inspection team, said:

‘The Police Authority for Hertfordshire is performing well. All of the Authority’s members, as well as its staff, take a keen interest in the way that policing works in the county. With a tough financial climate ahead, it is vital to ensure the Constabulary achieves best possible value for money, while continuing to provide the services local people need.’

Strengths include:

  • The Authority’s effective influence is improving policing for local people. Hertfordshire is now one of the best performing police forces in the country
  • The Authority gives clear direction to the Chief Constable. Relationships between the Authority and the Constabulary are productive with a well-judged balance between support and direction
  • Partnership working is a key aspect of future plans to complement the delivery of the Policing Plan and improve community safety
  • The Authority strongly promotes collaboration with other police forces, which has led to significant savings.

Areas for improvement include:

  • The Authority needs to ensure that its plans for improving community engagement are implemented
  • The way in which the Authority monitors risk information is adequate but could be improved.

Following today’s report Hertfordshire Police Authority will plan what it needs to do to improve its services to meet the changing needs of its communities.

Copies of the report are available from Hertfordshire Police Authority or from the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk and the HMIC website www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/Inspections/Pages/PoliceAuthorityInspections.aspx.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Hertfordshire Police Authority is an independent body responsible for overseeing the Constabulary. It represents the community and, in partnership with the Chief Constable, ensures that an efficient and effective policing service is provided to the people of Hertfordshire.
  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. For further information about HMIC: www.hmic.gov.uk.
  8. For more information, or for an embargoed copy of the full report, contact Eric Ludlow Communications Manager for Central and Eastern England at the Audit Commission on 0844 798 4183 or e-ludlow@audit-commission.gov.uk.