Force's "requires improvement" rating is disappointing, says Fed chair
Leicestershire has been found to require improvement in all three areas of an efficiency inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
Inspectors said the Force:
- "requires improvement" at understanding the demands for its services;
- "requires improvement" at how it uses its resources; and
- "requires improvement" at planning for the future.
"I am really disappointed at the inspectors' findings," says Tiff Lynch, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, "Everyone within the Force is working really hard to provide the best possible service to the public despite the cuts to our budgets. Officers and staff are under pressure and the chief officer team are trying match resource with demand."
HM Inspector of Constabulary ZoŽ Billingham acknowledged the Force was working hard to improve its efficiency.
She explained: "I am encouraged that the Force has recognised that its organisational structure is causing some inefficiencies. It's extensive change programme is designed to address this through a reorganisation of its workforce and considerable changes in how incidents and investigations are managed. I am encouraged that the Force is also improving how it manages hidden demand.
"The Force has a sound understanding of the operational skills of its officers and staff, although more could be done to further encourage talented people within its workforce through more formal development schemes.
"I am pleased that the Force works in strong and close collaboration with neighbouring police forces across the region and works well with other local agencies, like local councils and other emergency services. The Force has rolled out mobile devices to all front-line officers and staff. This initiative will help to improve the efficiency of the workforce, and support the provision of a better service to the public.
"The Force's finances are stable and it has consistently met savings targets. The Force will need to plan carefully to achieve a sustainable financial position for the future, while meeting increasing demand. I am confident that the chief constable and his chief officer team will continue to move the Force in the right direction over the coming year."
Leicestershire was inspected by HMICFRS as part of the third annual efficiency reports which examine how well police forces in England and Wales understand demand, use their resources and plan for the future. Two forces have been graded as "outstanding", 30 as "good", 10 as "requiring improvement", two more than last year, and no force was rated as "inadequate".
The overall finding was that in an environment of increasingly complex crime and changing demand, police forces are generally continuing to manage their resources well.
The report concludes that while most police forces throughout the country have risen impressively to the challenges they face, policing remains under significant stress. Forces need to be more ambitious and innovative in terms of their plans for the future; the problems facing those forces that fail to do so could potentially prove overwhelming.
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