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https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/recommendation/bedfordshire/8770/

Cause of concern

Community policing teams in Bedfordshire are not well enough resourced to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour effectively.

Recommendations

To address this cause of concern the force must immediately take steps to:

• increase the number of officers and staff carrying out active preventative policing and problem-solving activity; and • monitor the effect of this increase to ensure that it improves the quality of service provided to the public.

[on]3rd November 2016 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]15th March 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]15th March 2018 [comment]

In the 2016 HMICFRS PEEL Effectiveness inspection, there were serious concerns that community policing teams in Bedfordshire were insufficiently resourced to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. Following the 2017 PEEL Effectiveness inspection, inspectors found that this is no longer such a concern, although some problems persist. The force is increasing the size of local policing teams, developing the skills of its staff and providing the support they need to prevent crime effectively.

At the time of the inspection the force was ahead of schedule for its resourcing plans. The public receives a better service as a result, but the force needs to implement and resource its local policing model fully, for this service to reach a satisfactory standard that is more focused on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour from happening in the first place, and not simply reacting when they occur.

The force is ensuring its local policing model is fully staffed, by increasing the numbers of police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) permanently deployed to defined geographical areas. It has accelerated its original plans and aims to complete this process by April 2018.

The 2017 inspection identified the following Areas for improvement

•The force should ensure that local teams are sufficiently well resourced to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour effectively.•The force should work with local people and partner organisations to improve its understanding of local communities, including those which are less likely to communicate with the police, such as migrant communities or elderly people.•The force should adopt a structured and consistent problem-solving process to enable it to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour more effectively.•The force should evaluate and share effective practice routinely, both internally and with partners, to continually improve its approach to the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour.

HMICFRS will continue to monitor progress of this recommendation together with linked national recommendation #8563, regarding reviewing its community policing against new national guidance

[/comment][/on][on]7th June 2018 [comment]

Following meeting in force on 21/05/2018, the force agreed to supply an update to this recommendation. (Pete Thomas IO)

[/comment][/on][on]16th July 2018 [comment]

Effectiveness 2017 has identified the following area for improvement "The force should ensure that local teams are sufficiently well resourced to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour effectively". The force reports that neighbourhood policing teams are now operating at target strengths and consequently engaging in problem solving and prevention work in communities. The "cause for concern" has been addressed sufficiently well for Bedfordshire Police to be subject to HMICFRS monitoring via "scan" rather than "engage". The FLL is to reality test this activity in August 2018. Given the 2016 recommendation being superseded by subsequent 2017 findings and the force adequately addressing those findings, this recommendation may be considered for closure.

[/comment][/on][on]20th July 2018 [status]complete[/status][/on][on]20th July 2018 [comment]

Agree this cause of concern has been addressed by the force and the recommendation can be closed.

[/comment][/on]