Highlighted in the report was the ‘outstanding practice in the way it supports vulnerable victims’. However, in one area of the inspection – preventing re-offending – Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) inspectors state that Northumbria does require improvement and recommendations have been set.
Inspectors concluded that Northumbria Police gave an ‘excellent service to victims’, particularly those affected by more serious crimes such as rape. Inspectors stated that the Force had ‘robust supervisory oversight, good use of risk assessments and a very good support service to vulnerable victims. This same level of service is also given to victims of domestic abuse and to vulnerable victims in general’.
The report goes on to say that Northumbria Police’s mission of Proud to Protect was becoming embedded in the organisation. It states, that the senior manager team had made vulnerability and safeguarding their focus rather than meeting targets and that the Chief Constable’s regular staff forums, weekly blog and daily management meetings were underpinning the mission throughout the organisation.
Northumbria Police also demonstrated to the inspectors the high standard it sets when investigating crime and the inspectors noted the work that was undertaken by specialists in more complex cases such as rape. In conclusion, the report identifies that ‘the public can have confidence that Northumbria Police investigates crimes to a high standard’.
Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “This is a very reassuring report for a large, metropolitan force that faces such variety of complex policing issues. In particular, HMIC highlights the importance we place on vulnerability and safeguarding. A huge amount of work has gone into this vital area of work and I am pleased this has been recognised within this report.
“Work is already under way to make further improvements to the service we provide and in the ways we go about preventing reoffending. Protecting the public and providing the highest levels of service are clear priorities to everyone working in Northumbria Police and I am immensely proud of the way our officers and staff continue to respond to the many challenges they face.
“There is no doubt this report paints a very positive picture of the work we do and clearly demonstrates how far we have come in improving the services we provide to the fantastic communities we have in the North East.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, added: “In the main, there is a lot of positive reading in the report, it shows Northumbria Police continues to tackle the issues that matter to local people. Northumbria Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime – we will build upon this to ensure we deliver an even better service in tackling anti-social-behaviour. Our drive to deliver outstanding service to vulnerable victims will continue.
“The Chief Constable will implement changes where needed and I will monitor the action plan to ensure the Force delivers good service (and better) across every area. As a force, we value HMIC reports as they allow us the opportunity to learn and put in place effective structures to ensure we meet the expectations of local residents.”