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Wiltshire Police Federation

Wiltshire Police recognised in national report for Novichok incidents

4 July 2019

Wiltshire Police has been recognised in a national report looking at the current state of policing in the UK.

In the HMICRFRS (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services) State of Policing Report 2018, Sir Thomas Winsor uses the Novichok investigation as an example of the extraordinary demands being placed on police forces.

In the report, which is an annual assessment of policing in England and Wales, Sir Winsor says: "We have also seen extraordinary events placing major demands on other forces. Wiltshire Police, one of the smallest forces in England and Wales, had to deal with previously unimaginable public safety concerns after the unlawful use of a nerve agent, and the highly complex criminal investigation that followed."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said: "I am pleased to see Wiltshire Police getting national recognition for the unprecedented level of demand placed upon us in 2018.

"You cannot underestimate the scale of demand the two incidents last year created for one of the smallest and most underfunded police forces in the country.

"As also outlined in the report, Wiltshire Police continues to be graded good in all areas. Running, and maintaining, an effective and efficient Force is no mean feat and it is testament to the hard work and dedication I see across the Force each day.

"Policing in 2019 presents numerous challenges to us all but I am confident Wiltshire Police will continue to provide the best possible service to the communities it serves.

"Sir Tom's summary overview captures many, if not all, the actions we in Wiltshire have been working hard to address. I continue to engage with our MPs and the Government in relation to funding inequality."

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "It is absolutely right that Wiltshire Police continue to be used as an example of best practice for dealing with an extraordinary level of demand.

"Last year was undoubtedly one of, if not the, most demanding and challenging years in the history of our Force so I am pleased this continues to attract the recognition it deserves.
"We work closely with partner agencies and our communities each day to continue to improve the high level of service we provide.

"I recognise that the substantial shift in demand has an impact on our officers and staff performing frontline duties. Both the PCC and I are committed to continuing our investment in the best health and wellbeing support for all staff. This will ensure everyone has the resilience to deliver a positive service to our local communities.

"Despite the significant challenges we face and the shortages of officers and staff, I am so proud of the brilliance and resilience our officers, staff and volunteers show every day."

The full report can be found here.