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Gloucestershire Police Federation

Officers praised for their hard work as Force comes out of Special Measures

20 September 2023

Gloucestershire Constabulary has been taken out of special measures thanks to the hard work and commitment of officers across the force, Gloucestershire Police Federation has said. But Federation Chair Steve James also slammed the Government’s “chronic under investment” in policing and its arcane rules governing crime reporting.


His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) put Gloucestershire Constabulary into the ‘engage’ phase of inspection – also known as special measures – in December 2021, when it identified five causes of concern.


Since then, the Constabulary has made a number of improvements in crime recording, investigations and providing a better service for victims. Measures include increasing the number of staff to the Force Control Room, improving ICT systems, and introducing a Crime Standards Bureau to ensure crimes are recorded accurately and in a timely manner. Steve said that officers had responded with “innovation and tireless work” in order to raise standards.


He said: “The news that HMICFRS has today confirmed that Gloucestershire Constabulary is officially out of the ‘engage’ phase of inspection is testament to the hard work and commitment of officers across all areas of the force.


“HMICFRS made it clear in 2021 that there was significant work to do, specifically around crime recording and public contact, if the Constabulary was to meet its commitments to the communities of Gloucestershire. 


“Since then there has been relentless work, and significant investment, across the force to raise standards in those and other areas. Officers have responded with innovation and tireless work to raise our standards and it is good to see that acknowledged by HMRCFRS. HMICFRS’s initial report was never critical of the work of individual officers, but they have nonetheless been the ones who have to work hard to deliver these improvements.”


Steve added that “systemic failings” in policing, particularly underfunding, had contributed to the situation that Gloucestershire Constabulary – as well as other forces – had found itself in. 


He said: “There are clearly systemic failings in policing that led to this situation in our force and other forces across the country. First and foremost has been chronic underinvestment in all areas of policing by this Government, tied to an unwillingness to properly address the funding formula inadequacies that increasing lead forces such as ours to rely on local taxation to improve, or simply maintain services. 


“And while it is right that the public should be able to rely on the police accurately recording crime, the Home Office rules governing crime recording have grown so arcane, complex and bureaucratic that forces are now required to spend inordinate amounts on staffing each year simply to satisfy this data collection – funding that could be spent on putting officers out in communities.”


July 2024