Improvements in our response to the public leads to removal of special measure
I am pleased to share that in December I received a letter from HM Inspector, Wendy Williams CBE, informing me that HMICFRS has discharged one of our two accelerated causes of concern (ACoC): responding to the public.
I’m delighted by their decision, as it reflects the impact of the collective hard work that has been put into this critical area over the last 12 months from across the force as a whole, and particularly by the management and staff in our Force Contact Centre.
The decision is a result of our continuing improvement over several months and HMICFRS’s findings during onsite ‘reality testing’ in September and October. In her letter, Ms Williams welcomed our increased performance in answering 999 calls, and identified a number of improvements that her inspectors had observed first hand, including: • Clear governance in the Contact Centre, with more use of data to understand demand and performance; • Effective auditing, which gives assurance that our reported improvement is accurate; • Significant improvement in the recording of repeat and vulnerable victims; and • Our call handlers understanding and use of THRIVE for calls into the Contact Centre.
The discharging of this ACoC is an important step in our journey to becoming, once again, an outstanding local police service. But there is still much more to do before we can exit our ‘Engage’ status. HMICFRS still has some ongoing concerns in the area of Responding to the Public, and there is inspection activity planned in the two areas for which we previously received an inadequate grade –Investigating Crime, and Managing Offenders and Suspects – during January and February 2024.
My thanks go to our staff for their hard work to help us get to this position. However, we will not rest on our laurels. There is still much to do, both to improve our performance in how we respond to the public and in other areas where we are still deemed inadequate. I hope you will join me in celebrating this success, and this positive step along our journey to get back to being an outstanding local police force.