Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Policing has highlighted Cleveland Police as an example of best practice when it comes to neighbourhood policing and crime prevention work.
The force was given an overall “Good” grading for its effectiveness in preventing crime and protecting the public and In a national overview of its recent inspections of all 43 forces in England and Wales, the police watchdog singled out the force for praise.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “I am delighted that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate has chosen to highlight Cleveland Police in recognition of the investment made in neighbourhood policing and our intervention strategy within local schools and neighbourhoods to prevent future crime.*
“The Force has faced an incredibly tough few years in which Government funding has been cut by one third and the number of officers available to the Chief Constable has been reduced by 500.
“It is, therefore, very pleasing that the independent watchdog, whilst acknowledging the strain Forces are operating under, has recognised the efforts made by Cleveland officers and staff of all ranks and has concluded that overall the Force delivers a “good” service to the public.
“As well as our work in local communities, the Inspectorate also highlights the effective use of the PCC and Force websites, social media platforms and “pop-up” stalls to engage with the public and prevent crime.
“The new Chief Constable and I have a shared determination to protect neighbourhood policing.
“There are areas for improvement, particularly in our approach to protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. HMICFRS recognises that financial cuts have made an impact in this area. I know work is already well underway and the Force is committed to making the changes required, as Commissioner I shall hold the force to account on this.
“It is pleasing that the Inspectorate notes the progress we have already made in these areas and that an issue flagged up in last year’s report, concerning missing children, has been successfully addressed. That is clear evidence of the determination this organisation has to address issues and move on.
“I would call on anyone who has the best interests of Cleveland, the Force and the public it serves to read this report and the national overview in full and to acknowledge Cleveland is a good force, and a force striving to become even better.”
In addition, HMICFRS concluded that since its last inspection in 2016, the Force:
- Has made progress in all areas inspected.
- Has strengthened its approach to neighbourhood policing and prioritises and invests in preventing crime through neighbourhood policing.
- Has responded well to people vulnerable through their age, disability, or repeat victims of offences such as abuse.
- Has a good understanding of its communities and what matters to local people influences its identification of threat, risk and harm.
- Is good at tackling crime and antisocial behaviour with partner organisations.
- Uses evidence of good practice and reviews the effect of its activity on a case-by-case basis.
- Answers calls promptly, treats victims with empathy and ensures their immediate safeguarding needs are addressed.
- Works well with partner organisations to support vulnerable people with mental health problems.
*P36 national overview
Good forces tend to allow staff to concentrate on their prevention work and do not often assign them to other duties. They understand their communities well, and take a co-ordinated, long-term approach to problem solving. Leaders hold neighbourhood officers and staff to account for results, and monitor performance regularly. High performing forces regularly assess risks and tensions in communities. They exploit opportunities to prevent crime by deploying officers and staff equipped with the right skills and powers to help the public and prevent crime.
For example, Cleveland Police has made crime prevention one of its three priorities. Police officers and PCSOs working in neighbourhood policing teams receive the training, guidance and support they need to get involved with communities, solve problems together with partner organisations, and prevent crime. Neighbourhood officers are not deployed away from their communities often, and PCSOs are never diverted from their main tasks. The force’s investment in neighbourhood policing includes recruiting crime prevention co-ordinators and schools’ liaison PCSOs to help with prevention and early intervention.
Posted on Thursday 22nd March 2018