HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
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Staffordshire Police is failing to properly investigate crimes

Staffordshire Police is not carrying out effective investigations, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL: Staffordshire Police cause of concern – Responding to vulnerable people

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) also said Staffordshire Police is failing to properly identify and assess victims’ vulnerability when they first contact the police.

HMICFRS has therefore issued two causes of concern to Staffordshire Police. This process can be accelerated when a police force’s failures raise concerns about public safety – as is the case with Staffordshire Police.

To address these concerns, HMICFRS has recommended that Staffordshire Police should ensure that:

  • call handlers use and correctly record structured initial triage and risk assessments – this will help the force know what priority it should give the call and allow it to decide on the most appropriate response;
  • vulnerable and repeat callers are routinely identified, as are other people in the household who may also be vulnerable;
  • call handlers give relevant advice on the preservation of evidence and crime prevention;
  • it completes investigation plans to give direction and identify lines of inquiry at an early stage;
  • investigations are actively and regularly supervised and have their progress reviewed, and that all proportionate lines of inquiry are followed;
  • evidence-led prosecutions are pursued when a victim withdraws support for the investigation; and
  • it complies with the requirements established in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and that it completes victim needs assessments

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams yesterday said:

“We have serious concerns about two aspects of Staffordshire Police’s performance, which are putting public safety at risk.

“The first concern is regarding the force’s call handling. We found that the force is failing properly to identify and assess victims’ vulnerability when they first contact the police. Repeat victims are not always identified, along with others in the household who may also be vulnerable, which means this is not taken into account when considering the response the victim should have. Calls are not always responded to in a timely way.

“The second is regarding how the force carries out investigations, including providing appropriate support for victims. In some cases, investigations were not carried out in a timely manner and relevant and proportionate lines of inquiry were not always completed. Many investigations were not properly reviewed by supervisors, and victims were sometimes not updated throughout investigations.

“We have made several recommendations for Staffordshire Police to address our concerns, and we will closely monitor the force’s progress.”

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PEEL: Staffordshire Police cause of concern – Responding to vulnerable people

Notes

  1. For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted on 07836217729 or at HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.
  2. If our inspection identifies a serious or critical shortcoming in a force’s practice, policy, or performance, it will be reported as a cause of concern. A cause of concern will always be accompanied by one or more recommendations.
  3. When we identify causes of concern during our inspections, we normally provide details in the subsequent force report. In some cases, such as when we discover significant service failures or risks to public safety, we report our concerns and recommendations earlier. This is called an accelerated cause of concern.

 

Channel website: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/

Original article link: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/news/news-feed/staffordshire-police-is-failing-to-properly-investigate-crimes/

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