10 February 2020
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has made a renewed call for increased police funding after a new Government report found the Force’s performance has declined in the last year.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found Derbyshire Constabulary was good at how it treats the public and its workforce.
But inspectors found it required improvements at effectively reducing crime and keeping people safe and at operating efficiently and providing sustainable services to the public, giving an overall assessment that they had concerns over the Force’s performance.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham said: “My overall assessment is that Derbyshire Constabulary’s performance has declined since our last inspection. I am reassured, however, that the Force has taken a range of immediate steps to address the matters highlighted in our inspection, and I will monitor improvements closely.”
She continued: “I have seen some deterioration in performance in important areas, including operational effectiveness and efficiency.”
The inspector acknowledged improvements in recording crime and said the Force tackles serious and organised crime well although more thorough supervision and management of suspects is needed in other, more commonly occurring types of crime.
And Ms Billingham explained: “Derbyshire Constabulary needs to improve how it keeps vulnerable people safe; some people at risk are not being adequately protected. More consistency is needed when responding to them in a timely manner, along with closer co-operation with local partners to support them.
“Derbyshire Constabulary needs to improve how well it understands current and future demand. It also needs to gain a better understanding of the skills its workforce currently has and those it is likely to need in years to come. I am encouraged that there has been recent meaningful investment in new IT systems and specialist staff to achieve this.”
The report acknowledged that the Force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote well the standards of professional behaviour it expects.
Tony said: “This report should not be seen as a reflection of the hard work and dedication that our colleagues display every day. They are absolutely committed to protecting the public of Derbyshire and keeping them safe.
“It is a reflection of the devastating cuts in funding and police numbers that mean we cannot always adequately meet every challenge and all of the needs of our communities."
He added: “You can’t cut budgets, officer numbers and staff numbers and expect to be able to continue to provide the same levels of service. There are bound to be consequences. The only thing you get for less is less. We now need to see the Government coming through with the investment they promised prior to the election.”
Nationally, inspections showed that services varied across the country, dependent on the local force.
John Apter, national Federation chair, said: “What the service so desperately needs is a long-term funding deal to enable all forces to return to a position where they are properly funded to handle challenges they face. Our police and public deserve so much better.”