Cleveland Police told it must improve after check on its crime fighting work

The HMIC has made checks of all 43 police forces across England and Wales.
The HMIC has made checks of all 43 police forces across England and Wales.
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Police in Hartlepool have been told areas of their work must improve, while recognising the good work of officers in others.

Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have highlighted good areas of work and aspects which require improvement as part of the effectiveness arm of their PEEL inspections.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Simon Nickless.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Simon Nickless.

The inspection, which took place in both June and September last year, graded the force as good for investigating crime and managing offenders and good for tackling serious and organised crime and fulfilling national policing responsibilities.

The inspection also found that Cleveland Police is required to improve in protecting vulnerable people from harm, and preventing crime and antisocial behaviour.

The grading of two good areas and two areas for improvement within the one inspection means that the overall grading must be graded as requires improvement.

The report for Cleveland Police identified that the Force receives 14% more calls for assistance than the average for England and Wales.

Durham Constabulary's Chief Constable Mike Barton.

Durham Constabulary's Chief Constable Mike Barton.

In a 12 month period until March 31, 2015, the Force received 402 calls per 1000 population, with the national average being 350 calls.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “At the time of the inspection we had already begun to address areas that we identified as needing improvement, and this is reflected within our local report.

“I’m pleased that inspectors have recognised the good work we are doing to understand and address the risk posed by serious and organised crime, that the quality of our investigations is good and that we are good at managing offenders.

“We know that we must do more to prevent crime and antisocial behaviour and are working closely with our partners to develop this area further.

"The inspection team gave us feedback about improvements we need to make to protect vulnerable people from harm.

"We have listened and acted upon this feedback and changes have and are being made.

“We are transforming the way in which we deliver policing to reduce demand and increase staffing within the team responsible for protecting

our vulnerable people. I would ask that people read our local report to get a balanced view of the inspection.”

Durham was the only force to receive an overall grade of ‘outstanding’, with four of the same grade awarded out of eight categories.

In the individual areas assessed, the force was deemed ‘outstanding’ at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

It also was graded ‘outstanding’ tackling serious and organised crime and deemed ’outstanding’ at investigating crime and managing offenders.

Meanwhile, the force was graded ‘good’ at protecting the vulnerable.

Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “Once again we are adjudged to be at the pinnacle of policing and the benchmark for others to follow.

“I was absolutely delighted when the force was identified as being the best in the country last year so to maintain that standing is even more impressive.

“This is a massive pat on the back for everyone who works for the force.

“I hope every employee has an extra spring in their step today because it is their continued professionalism and dedication which has put the force in a fantastic position for the

future.”

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “To achieve such a glowing report in the current austere times is really impressive."

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham, who led the PEEL Effectiveness report inspection, said: "This is one of the most wide-ranging inspections HMIC has ever conducted. "We’ve examined police effectiveness across the board – from how forces identify anti-social behaviour hotspots, to their mapping of organised crime groups, and from their management of the most dangerous offenders, to their work to protect children.

“The job of the inspectorate is to shine a light on both good performance, and on things that need to improve; and this inspection found both.